NELSON Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) stained-glass lecturer and artist Anva Chiazzari has landed an international opportunity to exhibit two of her creations.
Chiazzari has been selected to show her works, titled Surrogate I and Surrogate II, at an international glass exhibition, Body Talk, in Ebeltoft, Denmark, for five months.
The exhibition of 53 artists’ illustrations and re-interpretations of the concept of body, sex and gender opened on April 5 and will run until September 28.
Artists were selected through an open call.
“We are especially proud of Anva as she was the only South African artist selected to exhibit,” NMMU spokeswoman Roslyn Baatjies said.
Chiazzari said she spotted the call for entries for the exhibition in an international glass art magazine, Neues Glas.
“I entered via e-mail and was accepted, which was fantastic news,” she said.
Her entries focused on femininity and its many associated pressures.
“I’m really excited to be chosen to exhibit alongside internationally recognised glass artists and to represent the potential of South African contemporary glass art,” said Chiazzari, who grew up in an artistic family.
“Contemporary glass as a fine art medium still remains relatively unknown in this country,” she added. “There is something wonderful about glass. It is transparent, colourful and full of contradictions. It is a hands-on medium that gives you a wonderful sense of satisfaction when an artwork is completed.
“Glass has an emotional link to the feminine mind, referencing mirrors and the fragility of the past or present emerging sexuality and self- image,” said Chiazzari, whose mother, Vanessa Moore, is a painter, sculptor and ceramicist.
“I’ve expanded on these themes and introduced ideas focused on death, decay and rebirth as it is related to the feminine body.
“The dichotomy of one female body being the site for birth and death is an interesting idea to me.
“I use glass to make pate de verre [paste of glass applied to the surface of a mould, then fired] objects that appear fossilised and old to reference ideas and images being ‘dug up’ from internal spaces in a body.
“These glass elements are mixed with imagery from traditional female handicrafts like embroidery, threads, lace and scissors to reference the inheritance of feminine ideas and ideals from one generation to the next.
The 28-year-old Redhouse resident said she felt an immediate connection to glass as a medium while studying fine art at NMMU, majoring in glass for her diploma and then completing her B Tech. Now working towards her masters degree, she encourages students to stay up to date with current trends and emerging artists on an international scale. – Balisa Ntloko