Respect Who I Am – An exhibition of paintings by learners from Mason Lincoln Special School, 21 March 2020

23rd Time of the Writer, 16-21 March 2020

Retrospective – The Late Gabisile Nkosi & her son Sandile, 26 October 2019

The Poetry Africa Festival – Public Space Visit, 08 October 2019

The Poetry Africa Festival, 07 to 12 October 2019

Lecture at Phansi on Thursday, 25th July 2019 at 17h30

The notion of categorisation has been around in western musicology for some time, leading us to the creation of such labels as art music, folk music, popular music, world music, or African music. In many cases, this has been linked to the commercial marketing of music, something that often has also limited the scope of expression for musicians. Now that the emphasis of musicological research has shifted from ‘the music’ to musical processes these categorisations seem limiting and redundant. This presentation examines the history of some of these categories whilst at the same time questions their relevance today. The presentation concludes by examining the manner that categories like ‘art’, ‘folk’, and ‘popular’ are conceptualised and how this may strongly impact upon how control of the public soundscape is exercised.

Prof Chats Devroop is the Academic Leader for Research in the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is a renowned musicologist as well as a performer. His research interests lie in diaspora studies and South African music whilst his performance repertoire encompasses music across the spectrum, from art to popular music.

Opening of African Art Centre at Phansi on Saturday, 20th July 2019 at 11:30 am

You are invited to attend the opening of the African Art Centre’s new premises at the Phansi Museum on Saturday 20th July 2019 at 11:30 am. There will be an exhibition of Art in the Phansi Gallery.

Free cappuccino for everyone attending the opening.

Amarcord screening at Phansi on Thursday, 11 July 2019 at 17h00
Free admission, donations toward Phansi are welcomed.

Amarcord(translated from the Italian dialect as “I remember”) tells of the life of Borgo San Giuliano, a small northern Italian seaside town near Rimini, during the late 1930s. It is populated by an idiosyncratic cast of characters whose lives are affected by the social mores dictated largely by Catholicism, the national fervor surrounding Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, and the specter of Italian Fascism. The stories loosely center on a mid-teen nicknamed Titta and his extended family, including his adolescent brother, his ever supportive mother who is always defending him against his father, his freeloading maternal Uncle Lallo who works in the tourist season as a professional gigolo, and his paternal grandfather who slyly has eyes and hands for the household maid. Other townsfolk include Gradisca, the town beauty, who can probably have any man she wants, but generally has no one as most think she out of their league; Volpina, the town prostitute; Giudizio, the local historian; a blind accordionist; and a generously-proportioned tobacconist.

Fellini’s youth was dominated by women, who both attracted and frightened him and inspired the dreams that he started recording in his notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films, and the memories he documents in Amarcord are populated by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII, and institutions such as his school, known as The Saraghina, that the priests who ran it described it as “the devil herself”.

Federico Fellini was born in Rimini, in the province of Emilia-Romagna, on 20 January 1920, died in Rome on 31 October 1993, and was married for 50 years to Giulietta Masina, also an actress. She outlived him by barely five months. In his time he was nominated for 12 Oscars was knighted by the Italian Republic, and is described in Wikipedia as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. His attitude towards life is described in his own words: Life is a combination of magic and pasta

Fellini’s AMARCORD (1973, music by Nino Rota, Italian with English subtitles) will be screened at 17.30 at the Phansi on Thursday 11 July 2019. Affezionati may care to provide their own popcorn and other vices.



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share our annual report


The ART of healing
Opens Friday, 2 March 2018 at 17:30 for 18:00


Phansi Museum invites the public to its first major exhibition of 2018, which opens on Friday, 2 March 2018.   This exhibition takes a closer look at the beauty, magnificence and mystery of the art of the izangoma and their role as healers and conduits to the spiritual world.

The izangoma are  considered to be of the most respected members in their communities and play a significant role in the lives of many, probably the majority of people living in South Africa.  Equivalent to the same people working in similar fields in the humanities, for example doctors, ministers and priests which are sadly rich with opportunities for quacks, con-artists money-grabbers and naysayers.

Regrettably most of the research and writing done on the indigenous practices of the izangoma and the izinyanga (herbalist) undermine this mystical art with horror stories of spells, witchcraft and body-parts putting aside that they themselves live in a world of star-signs and tea leaves all the way through to the conspiracy theories of the pharma industry.   The art of the izingoma is synonymous with beauty and creativity.  With this exhibition, we take a look at the other side, at the tools of transformation, how beauty can heal, how medicines can repair and how the izangoma guide and direct their patients to believe in their own power and ability to heal.

At the exhibition you will come face to face with magnificent beaded and embroidered textiles, beaded mats and hairpieces and medicine containers in all sizes and shapes that celebrate their mysterious content with beads and other adornments – all using their own  persuasive avenues such as brand names, perfume bottles and money belonging to the other worlds around us.

The isangoma and inyanga, often one and the same person in the community, is the go-to help  person when there is something troubling you; be it physical, psychological, fear or pain.

The izangoma are not employed or in business – they are called  and this is their art, ubuntuArt – This is their art, ubuntuArt.   It is  remarkable.


Phansi Museum AHRI Calendar Schools Art and Essay Competition 2018

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One of the most admired contributions the Bartel Arts Trust and the Phansi Museum have made to the enrichment of the cultural life in KwaZulu Natal is the annual Art • Craft • Tradition calendar.  This annual publication, now in its 23 year of production will be officially launched at 12:00 on Saturday, 18 November 2017 at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), 719 Umbilo Road, Durban.

The 2018 Phansi Museum calendar takes a close-up look at the mosaic installations on the walls and interior of the seven-story K-RITH Tower Building on the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine Campus in Umbilo, Durban.  The building is home to several biomedical research centres, including AHRI, one of South Africa’s largest independent, multidisciplinary research institutes. AHRI has some of the continent’s most advanced laboratories where scientists work to better understand, treat and ultimately cure HIV, tuberculosis disease and related illnesses. Right next door to the building is UKZN’s school of medicine where doctors are trained.

It is this focus on health and the quest for cures that informed acclaimed ceramic and mosaic artist Jane du Rand’s murals. Briefed by the building’s architects in 2010 to reflect the work which happens in the building, Jane took inspiration from symbols of healing from different cultures, and looked at the structure and shape of viruses, blood cells and bacteria. Indigenous plants with medicinal and healing properties, as well as plant fractals (patterns), also form an important part of this installation.

The artwork is split across different areas of the building. Despite being separate, each part of the artwork has been carefully designed to have a relationship and visual connection with the other through repetitive circular shapes and interconnected patterns. On the curved garden wall outside the building, the theme is indigenous medicinal plants which are labeled and contained inside large disks. Textured, three-dimensional representations of cells and viruses, together with plant fractals, make up the mosaic on the upper levels of the building and the outside wall of the parking garage. A grouping of healing mandalas greets visitors in the reception area, while a DNA strip leads up the stairwell from the ground to the seventh floor.

Each year Phansi Museum distributes 1 000’s of calendars to schools in cities, villages and in faraway rural areas, clinics, libraries, community centers and educational institutions across the province.  This publication is awaited with much anticipation by many, both in South Africa and abroad, and in rural areas.

The 2018 Art-Craft-Tradition calendar once again pays respect to and celebrates those who have created, observed, recorded and collected the treasures which the Phansi Museum continues to share with the world.

First Pop Up Exhibition for 2018
Sibusiso Duma

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Phansi Museum would like to invite the public to visit the Museum to view our first POP-UP exhibition of the year.  The exhibition of a small selection of paintings and painted plates by much-admired local artist Sibusiso Duma will be open for viewing from Friday, 26 January 2018.

Unfortunately, as society buckles under the weight of the economic crisis, so too goes the support of fine arts.  It is not only individual artists who are reeling from the effects of a decrease in sales, many auction houses and art fairs are suffering the consequences.   In addition to this, most artists find it difficult to market and sell their work effectively whilst trying to produce new work for the market.   With this initiative, Phansi Museum would like to join all the other art galleries and associations in Durban in exposing the works of art of our local artists to larger audiences.

Sibusiso’s body of output spans a professional career launched in 1997, when he participated in his first group exhibition at the African Art Centre with Welcome Danca and Trevor Makhoba.   Born in Durban in 1977, Sibusiso developed a talent for drawing at an early age and spent most of his time drawing houses and cars on the walls of his home.    Much like his mentor, well known artist Trevor Makhoba, Duma reflects on his experiences of life with hints of humour and satire which he says help him to make sense of the social conditions of our time.  His work is typified by his surface treatment, subject matter, composition and the use of space and colour which collectively create touches of mystery and intrigue.    His exceptional use of personal iconography and metaphors harvested from everyday life manifest a fine balance between fantasy and reality.   Sibusiso’s work has become increasingly drawn toward pointillism, a painting technique elaborated from the impressionists in which dots of colour are juxtaposed on flat surfaces.  In 2010, he was selected as one of ten finalists in the ABSA Atelier Exhibition in Johannesburg for a painting executed in this technique.

Phansi Museum launches the 2018
Art-Craft-Tradition Calendar

Phansi Calendar 2018 small

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