Sandra Hanekom, visual artists from Piketberg, is appointed as the new Curator of Visual Arts at the Absa KKNK.

“I feel very flattered and excited about the possibilities offered to me as curator, by the Absa KKNK. A Festival curator is a curator for both the public and artists, which makes it a very challenging position”, Hanekom explains. Sandra sets about her art in earnest and sees arts as her business. “This is not just another project for me, this is the project where I must maintain and strengthen my reputation. Arts festivals are immensely important for both established and young upcoming artists and provides a great opportunity for the latter to exhibit.”

Hanekom has been working as an artist since 1994 and is very familiar with the Absa KKNK.  She has already had two solo exhibitions at the festival with Van verskrikkers en verstommers in 2011 and 1971 in 2005. Her work formed part of group exhibitions in 2001 and 2008, also displayed at the Absa KKNK. Hanekom also played a curating role at both Mused in 2008 and Roem in 2007.

“My goals for the visual arts of the Absa KKNK 2012 is to ensure that, through work of outstanding quality from both an academic and collectors perspective, a bridging project is created that will stimulate an interest for the art layman in art of high quality”, she explains. Hanekom wants to present one or two projects that will capture the imagination of Festival goers and that will ensure a not-to-be-missed experience. “It is important to me that the performing and visual arts are brought closer together.”

“A festival curator must have a different angle compared to a museum curator”, says Hanekom. According to her every exhibition must have three important elements. “Firstly, there must be an educational element. Secondly, a popular element, you want to have people visiting the exhibition. And finally an exhibition should also have an innovative element.” Hanekom says her biggest goal is to ensure that there is a good balance between these three elements. “You have to compile a visual arts programme that addresses the needs of a very broad audience.”

Her latest exhibition, Sublime Purgatory and the Splendour of Menace, was open to the public until 22 September 2011 in the Absa Art Gallery in Johannesburg. Her work is characterised by a strong personal narrative and the symbolic elements in her work. She served on the Boards of the Durbanville Cultural Society, the East London Art Society and the Bellville Arts Board. She studied Visual Arts at the University of Stellenbosch after matriculating at the Afrikaans High School for the Arts, Die Kruin, in Johannesburg. Here, she received recognition as the best Visual Arts learner in 1988.

Her predecessors as Curator of Visual Arts at the Absa KKNK were Johan Myburg, Theo Kleynhans, Lucia Burger, Teresa Lizamore and Clive van den Berg.  The 18th Absa KKNK will be held in Oudtshoorn from 31 March – 7 April 2012 with accommodation bookings opening on 17 October 2011 for the public.

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