George Pemba

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1 George Pemba Biography: Born in Korsten in the Eastern Cape First Exhibition in PE Teacher training at the Lovedale College in EC Learned watercolour techniques from Ethyl Smythe and exposed to the work of old Masters and Impressionists Marries first wife, Dinah Studied watercolour under Prof. Winter Moore at Rhodes University as an external student Marries second wife, Eunice Meets Gerard Sekoto who advises him to paint in Oils Receives money from the Bantu Welfare Trust to travel around SA and draw and paint ordinary people in different places Exhibitions in JHB, Durban and PE Receives money from IDF London Exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery in JHB Retrospective Exhibition at the ISANG Died Genre: Portraiture, Landscape, Genre Paintings (Scenes of everyday life), Political paintings, Religious Paintings, Book Illustration Themes: The lives of ordinary people, socio-political issues, religious themes, symbolic themes (reflecting aspirations and the social milieu of the time) Visual Devices: Toyi-toyi, Naturalism (particularly in the portraits - expressed in accurate drawing and use of colour). 2. Expressive brushstroke and use of colour (especially in the political and symbolic paintings). 3. Impressionist mark-making (especially in some of his earlier landscape watercolours). Inspiration: Interest in looking at and recording ordinary people from different walks of life; Life in the townships; Political situation in SA; Expressing the emotions and aspirations of people that he observed in different situations; Religious beliefs. Subject Matter: Media: Landscapes Portraits Figurative Painting (the human figure) Everyday Life Political Life in SA Religion Symbolic Paintings Illustrations for books Oil paint Watercolour Pen and Ink Examples of Artworks: Landscapes: Landscape, Lovedale, 1933, Watercolour Portraits: No Work, 1948, watercolour; Portrait of Young Xhosa Woman, 1946, watercolour. Political paintings: Soldiers Police Raid, 1955, Oil; Toyi-Toyi, 1989, Oil Religious paintings: Adam, 1949, watercolour; Black Jesus, 1985, Oil Symbolic paintings: Homeless, 1976, Oil; Dream, 1989, Oil; Hope,1993, Oil

2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Pemba was encouraged to paint and draw by his father. He began painting murals in the family house. (The school that he went to, like most black schools in South Africa at the time, did not offer art.) He won a scholarship which made it possible to receive post primary education. Pemba was part of a pioneering group of black artists in SA at the time. He laid claim to a place for black artists in South Africa, and he did not compromise his politics and moral principles. Pemba remained in S.A. to make a name for himself as a local artist. This was at a time when other black artists left for overseas and better opportunities there. He is now seen as one of the leading figures in South African and African art in the 20 th century. Pemba the social historian documented the customs and living conditions of township dwellers of the Eastern Cape during apartheid. He showed the impact of the process of modernisation, and the resilience of the black culture in a time of extreme oppression. His attitude was one of compassion for humanity. His style was Impressionistic Pemba was also interested in African tradition and customs, particularly as seen in the traditional dress of Xhosa and Sotho cultures. His portraits showing this aspect honour the nobility of an African heritage. The portraits are intense and have a sense of individuality, i.e. of the particular person that they depict. (This is the same kind of quality of humanism that we see beginning to emerge in the Renaissance era, and is in direct contrast to ethnographical studies.) He is known as the painter of the people. GLOSSARY these words and terms are important for you to understand and be able to use in the correct context. Please learn them well. o CULTURE includes the intellectual, spiritual, aesthetic, emotional, moral and material concerns of people. Culture relates to the way of living and the making of meaning at specific times and in specific places. Cultures have histories and contexts, i.e. they change in relation to the social and political times and can become influenced by other cultures or cultural trends, o GENRE the representation of people, subjects and scenes form everyday life. o FORMAT the size and shape of material, paper or card on which the artwork is to be created o MEDIUM Any materials that are used for art expression, e.g. clay, paint, charcoal, etc. o AFRICAN the term African encompasses all cultures across the African continent from Cape to Cairo, and Zanzibar to Dakar. This includes all indigenous cultures as well as cultures that have been assimilated by the people of Africa. o ELEMENTS OF ART the components of visual construction, i.e. line, shape, form, space, texture, value, colour.

3 o FUNCTION the purpose and use of a work of art. o MOOD the state of mind or feeling of a work of art, often communicated through the use of colour. o THEME an idea based on a particular subject o VISUAL METAPHOR images in which characteristics of objects are likened to one another and represented as that other. They are closely related to concepts about symbolism.

4 Topic 1: The Emerging Voice of Black Artists in the 50 s and 60 s. TASK 1 : BOOK COVER and CONTENTS PAGE 17 JAN > DUE 05 MARCH /10/ Cover your book with images by Pemba, Clarke and Sekoto. /3/ Label your book with your name, grade, subject (visual art, painting and mixed media) and The Emerging Voice of Black Art in the 50 s and 60 s on the cover. /4/ Glue in your lesson structure, this page and your notes in chronological order. /1/ General presentation (work neat and complete) and time management (handed in on time.) /2/ TASK 2: COLOURING A PICTURE BY THE ARTIST 17 JAN > DUE TUES 24 JAN /10/ 1) Choose either Black Jesus or Flight to Botswana and accurately colour your black and white photocopy with pencil crayon or thick watercolour or gouache. Pay attention to colour and brush mark. TASK 3: PEMBA COMPREHENSION /20/ 17 Jan > DUE Tues 24 Jan Answer all the questions using full sentences. Refer to your notes from this section and from your VCS books from grade 11 and 10 if need be. 1) Did Pemba have access to art lessons at primary school? Give reasons for your answer. /2/ 2) Explain why we can describe Pemba as a sort of social historian. Refer to 1 or 2 of his artworks to help explain your answer. /5/ 3) In what way is Pemba s painting style Impressionistic? (Refer back to your notes on Impressionism from last year.) Substantiate your answer with reference to a specific artwork by Pemba, (not the same one as you used in (2) above.) /3/ 4) Which artwork by Pemba shows us his expressive use of brush mark and colour? State specifically where you see this and the effect that it creates in the artwork. /4/ 5) a) What is humanism in art terms? /2/ b) Where did this approach originate? /1/ c) Where and how do we see this in Pemba s work? /3/ TASK 4: SEKOTO ARTWORK /10/ Tuesday 24 Jan > due Tuesday 07 Feb 1) Using pencil crayons or thick watercolour or gouache, accurately colour your copy of Portrait of the artist s Mother. /4/

5 TASK 5: SEKOTO WORKSHEET /30/ TUESDAY 24 JAN > DUE TUESDAY 07 FEB Complete the questions below by referring to your notes. 1) Who/what were the 4 main influences in Sekoto s artistic development? /4/ 2) What were some of Sekoto s aims as an artist living in apartheid South Africa? /3/ 3) What are three specific visual devices in Sekoto s paintings that indicate that he was a self-taught artist? /3/ 4) What was Sekoto s subject matter? /4/ 5) Give a short description of Sekoto s use of media and technique. /4/ 6) Why did Sekoto move to Paris? /2/ 7) What happened to Sekoto and his work while in Paris? /3/ 8) Give a detailed analysis of Sekoto s Street Scene. /7/ Sub total mark for topic 1 : Task 1 /10/ + task 2 /10/+ task 3 /20/+ task 4 /10/+ task 5 /30/= /80/

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