The Department is the largest of its kind in South Africa and offers a multidisciplinary environment within which you can explore your creativity and stretch your intellectual boundaries. We offer exciting and challenging under- and postgraduate degrees and modules in Fine Arts, Information Design and Visual Culture Studies. In the years of its existence the Department has produced not only outstanding practitioners, but also influential theoreticians.
The Turbine Art Fair was held this past weekend from the 17th-20th July 2014 at the Turbine Hall in Newtown. The Turbine Hall’s unique history and position within Newtown, Johannesburg provided TAF14’s central theme – “Emerge”. Young and emerging South African artists were represented by various galleries at the fair.
Johan Thom, a prolific artist who has received numerous awards and is currently a lecturer in the University of Pretoria's Department of Fine Arts, will soon receive his PhD from the University College of London (UCL) through the Slade School of Art. Thom was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship by the Canon Collins Trust in 2008 and returned to South Africa last year, when he joined the staff at his alma mater as the coordinator for postgraduate students.
Fatima Cassim, who heads the Division of Information Design in the Department of Visual Arts in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria, sees increasing potential for design to address some of the complex social, environmental and political problems that society faces. She believes, in particular, that design thinking as a problem-solving methodology can help to envision and enable new futures and mobilise citizens to take action in more meaningful ways. In keeping with this viewpoint, she focuses on design activism and design citizenship in her doctoral thesis at UP.
The Absa L’Atelier art competition is South Africa’s most prestigious annual art event. The award to be won in this competition not only assures South Africa’s emerging artists of recognition, but also affords them the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. The competition is run in conjunction with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA). This year, recent UP graduate Liberty Battson was announced the overall winner for 2014.
Rory du Plessis, Visual Cultural Studies lecturer in the University of Pretoria (UP)'s Department of Visual Arts, has just returned from a fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin. The awarded fellowship forms part of his interdisciplinary doctoral studies and was in the research cluster 'Encounters between Medicine, Literature, Philosophy and their Circulation in Public Debates'.