Exhibitions 2018

There are several exhibitions this year, taking place between the Normand Dunn Gallery, Raymond Slater Library, History Room, Buzz Rooms and the Art Block.  Please read below for more information.






In December 2013, Zelda la Grange, President Nelson Mandela’s assistant, challenged philanthropist and ‘Arts Angel’, Carolyn Steyn, to knit or crochet 67 blankets!  These blankets would be distributed to those in need on Mandela Day – an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, and celebrated on his birthday, the 18th July. Carolyn accepted Zelda’s challenge and called on her friends for help by developing a Facebook group called “67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day”. In just days, hundreds of people around the world had pledged to knit a blanket. You are invited to join this incredible initiative, which has become a “Knitting Revolution for Nelson Mandela”!! Stitch by stitch, we pledge to keep thousands of people less fortunate than ourselves in South Africa and around the world warmer in all winters to come in the name of Nelson Mandela. His legacy lives on in each blanket we produce with our own two hands




Experience the prestigious and historical art exhibition entitled “Boyley’s World” – a centenary celebration of the life and works of South African master painter Errol Boyley (1918 – 2007) which will be exhibited at this year’s Hilton Art Festival in the Normand Dunn Gallery Errol’s painting life spanned over 60 years, he was prolific and versatile. You cannot mistake a Boyley painting! His use of colour, eye for detail and approach to his subject was entirely and uniquely Errol (particularly his method of executing the unresolved foreground). It is a compliment to him that many an artist has followed in his style, however there can only be one Errol Boyley. He always said that he wanted to die with his brushes in his hand and he got his wish at the age of 89 at the end of 2007. He suffered a stroke and died shortly thereafter. Errol was an extremely generous and kind tutor and mentor to many people over the years. He was loved by his contemporaries, many of whom became close friends. His great friend and fellow painter Adriaan Boschoff died within a fortnight of Errol’s demise. Amongst his other artist friends were Dino Paravano, Titta Fasciatti, Walter Westbrook, Chris Tugwell, Willem Coetzer and Ruth Squib (who was also tutored by Errol), Gabriel deJong, Gwelo Goodman, Boonzaier, and in the latter years, Anton Benzon. As the years roll by, the name Errol Boyley will certainly have a place among the names of the great artists that stand as Proudly South African.




Art is an investment in the quality of life. The Artisan Collective annually brings a selection of the finest paintings, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery, glassware and other items of artistic beauty to the Hilton Festival. Every item is individually handmade in SA by some of the country’s top creative talents.  This year we are back in the Raymond Slater Library and will also be hosting demonstrations and talks by some of our artists and craftsmen.  Artisan now functions online as well as on a person-to-person basis, which enables us to commission and/or supply artwork, without having to factor in the exorbitant rental and running costs of a physical gallery. A win-win situation.  For friendly and knowledgeable service,  Contact us at artisan.ingrid@gmail.com or 083 443 4003

Fri 14TH @11h00; 13H45; Sat 15TH @11h00; 14h00; Sun 16TH @11h00; 13h00


Mandela: A Life’s Journey


The inspirational life of Nelson Mandela forms the basis for an extraordinary exhibition that show cases the story of a deeply-beloved South African icon, namely John Meyer’s “Mandela: A Life’s Journey”.  At the festival, take the chance to view a set of limited edition prints of the original thought-provoking works which are currently on an international tour that will include some of the artistic capitals of the world. Each of the sixteen pieces are works in acrylic and sand on canvas. Andrew Dunn commissioned the series from renowned South African artist, John Meyer, whom he considers to be one of South Africa’s greatest living artists. The series took three years to complete and the result was a heart-warming and descriptive look at Madiba’s life. “John is a living legend who has painted for the Queen of England, Paul Allen of Microsoft and many more world and business leaders. Thus, choosing him to help fulfil my dream of owning a collection based on the life of Nelson Mandela was an easy decision.”  For Meyer, Nelson Mandela’s rare and universal influence challenged him to raise his game and reach new levels artistically. Meyer explains of his work, “I want to explore the private world of people’s lives, the enigmatic unexplained and hidden emotions.” Having met Mandela on several occasions, Meyer has always been struck by his saintliness and the fact that he has served as a rallying point for all the world’s dispossessed. He did, however, try to avoid politics in the series, aiming rather to capture Mandela’s humanity.  Thank you to Mark Read of the Everard Gallery for facilitating this exhibition:  “This very tantalizing  showing of 16 miraculous paintings is the story of our continent’s greatest human icon painted by the best realist of his generation.”




I GEBE  … Bridge the Gap is a group exhibition by artists who are trying to bridge the gap from poverty to self-sustainable living and income. For several years now they have used the festival as this bridge.  The exhibition will be curated by Allen Kupeta, winner of the Raphael Penthouse Mural Competition at the Nelson Mandela Square in 2015, who has worked constantly to bridge the gap between developing and professional artists as well. This particular group also works to bridge the gap between African and European art. They work hand in hand at festivals, fighting poverty and resulting in their work now hanging in private collectors’ homes, galleries, schools and hospitals nationwide.  Alongside Allen Kupeta, Alex Shabalala will be exhibiting his colourful ceramics (work accepted by Decorex); Lindeni Nyandeni who has a studio at the BATcenter in Durban works with pastel chalk; Zamakuhle Ngwenya will exhibit his paintings; Lindo Zwane will be exhibiting for the first time, doing portrait painting in monochrome; Nkosi Nkosi also exhibits for the first time paint with a pallet knife.  For more details of the exhibition email allen.kupeta@gmail.com




The exhibition this year features a variety of arts, crafts, locally manufactured products and delectable edibles. Enjoy Terbodore Coffee, Tasha’s Fantastic Fudge, Ground Cover Leather Company, Dirt Road Traders and Peels Honey. Expect unique art pieces from our N3TC Emerging Artist/Crafter Project, featuring Sibusiso Mvelase a linocut artist, Stanley Nxumalo’s amazing woven creations and Eric Ngcobo’s bronze work. The exhibition also includes exciting newcomers to the Midlands Meander N3TC Emerging Artist/Crafter Project, with the likes of Themba Creations who are a group of competent seamstresses and crotchetiers, who specialize in Shweshwe and African printed items; and Khanya Temba, an exciting group of individuals, who use recycled plastic products to create baskets, blankets, mats and toys. Also part of the exhibition is Siyaphambili Disabled Association of talented weavers who produce baskets, trays and more.




Strauss & Co is an acknowledged pioneer of the online auction platform in South Africa, with its inaugural digital sale having taken place in 2013.  Since moving into the online auction space in 2013, Strauss & Co Online has built a platform that is easy to use, with buyers able to navigate sales from the comfort of their homes during the week-long period of the sale. The platform contains a wealth of information about bidding online for novice buyers and those new to the online format. In this way, Strauss & Co’s online auctions are playing an important role in the support of new collectors.  Opening at 8am on Monday 10 September and closing at 8pm on Monday 17th September 2018, the online auction features affordable prints, multiples, paintings, sculpture, works on paper and runs concurrently with the festival. Visit Strauss & to view works featured on the online auction, including a selection from KZN artists.  The Strauss & Co team of art experts will also be conducting obligation free valuations. To get your paintings, works on paper or sculpture valued please bring them along.  Browse, bid or buy the unique items for sale online from Strauss & Co.  https://www.straussart.co.za/straussonline; Enquiries Susie Goodman susie@straussart.co.za


Out of Character  



A Photography Exhibition by Harry Lock. This year sees the return of Out of Character, an exhibition of spontaneous environmental portraits which gives the viewer a glimpse of the performers out of character and off the stage. Photographer Harry Lock began the project in 2014 when he made portraits of the participants at the Hilton Arts Festival and exhibited the photographs at the festival the following year. Now in its fifth year, visitors will be able to see the portraits made during the festival in 2017. “I hope that these photographs will become a record of some of the actors, musicians, artists and the many people working behind the scenes to bring this event to the public every year.”




THINK about it: art visually captures the spirit of the times. Artists in the broader sense are the ultimate example of creative thinkers commentating through their work. Creativity enhances our lives, and we would be living in a less colourful world without its uplifting effects. Talented, artistic dreamers show us the way. As Nelson Mandela declared: “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”  The festival is proud to host a 13 metre resin replica of the original, created by Louis Olivier and which was recently installed at the new Think Precinct at Merchant Place in Sandton.  As you approach this contemporary piece, you are presented with individual letters which, from a certain vantage point, make up the word “THINK”. When you change your perspective the word dissolves into intriguing silhouettes of life-size figures in various thinking poses, interacting at different angles. Olivier says: “The project demonstrated the true essence of collaboration as it involved various sectors and skills. From inception the artists and artisans were encouraged to think innovatively, and had to come up with creative solutions to complex technical challenges. The many stumbling blocks brought to the fore a team of true solutionists.” The Renaissance artist Raphael’s The School of Athens was the inspiration for the philosophising figures that make up the bench. Raphael’s fresco depicts some of the greatest thinkers and philosophers of ancient Greek civilisation. “Completed in the 16th century, Raphael’s fresco praises the virtues of learning, curiosity, shared knowledge and innovation and remains a timeless celebration of human ingenuity and creativity – which collectively speak to RMB’s business philosophy,” concludes Olivier.




Created by artist Guy Ferrer,  T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E is a monumental Public Art sculpture consisting of nine letters in bronze, all representing letters of the word « tolerance » as well as figures suggesting different spiritualties.  It is a limited edition of eight series, which have been exhibited in numerous prestigious sites: Les Jardins du Luxembourg and La Monnaie de Paris, Goethe University in Frankfurt, the Imperial Castle of Poz in Poland, The Campo Santo and the Royal Castle of Collioure in France.  Four of the eight have been permanently installed in the park François Mitterrand, bridging Paris 17th to Saint-Ouen in France, in front of the Government Palace in Abu Dhabi in the UAE, at the City Hall, Montpellier France and in Switzerland.  The artistic message of T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E brings forth one of the most crucial challenges and source of spreading chaos humanity has to face today throughout the world: the preoccupying rise in religious tensions and the risk of amalgams it pulls forward.  “A word becomes meaningful because of all of its letters, each one indispensable and of equal importance to convey the meaning. In the same way, the different cultures and spiritual beliefs of our societies can live together in brotherhood and complete each other, in the knowledge of reciprocal respect and a bit of kindness.” – Ferrer.