In this first ever-edition of Hotel Hernandez Art School, a group of seven established and emerging artists were carefully selected and invited to take part in an eight-week programme – culminating in the showcase, Graduate Exhibition I: An Enquiry into Pedagogy at the Iziko South African National Gallery. The recently developed programme is an enquiry into pedagogy – the method and practice of teaching – and aims to transcend the conventional hierarchical system of education. The group was dynamic and diverse, both in their disciplines and their levels of experience.
The programme began with an introductory class by renowned professor Dr Stefano Azzali. His discourse was intended to spark thought and conversation, and to establish an underlying theme for the course. The artists then went back to their studios to start on a new body of work. From that point on, the artists attended weekly salon sessions at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and presented their works in progress to their fellow artists.
During the sessions, each artist had a chance to both give and receive input and constructive criticism, simultaneously accepting the role of master and apprentice. Artworks were brought out of the studio and into the salon and passed around the hands of the artists for close inspection and a tactile experience. They were encouraged to question their work and to ask their peers and themselves the hardest of questions in search for the sincerest answers.
The artists took the opportunity to explore new ideas and techniques in a setting which provided ample insight into several disciplines and angles of approach to the creation of art. It was a beautiful process to witness, and Hotel Hernandez Art School is exceptionally proud of the artists and the works that they have produced, and is delighted to present them to the public in this exhibition hosted at the Iziko South African National Gallery.
Water Dixon (Cait Warther & Wendy Dixon)