Convening the Factory of the Arts

The work of the Factory of the Arts is convened by a curatorial and production team, Itumeleng Wa-Lehulere (Convener) and Derek Carelse. Itumeleng Wa-Lehulere, playwright and theatre director, has been appointed the new Convener of the Factory of the Arts as the previous convener, Emile Maurice, sadly passed away on 26 August 2016.

Emile Maurice

No-190-CHR_Factory-of-the-Arts_Cape-Town_January-2015_No-190Emile Maurice is an art educator, art historian, archivist, artist, author and curator. After obtaining a master’s degree (art history) from Syracuse University, New York in 1981, he taught for a number of years at various institutions, including Alexander Sinton High School, Hewat Training College and Battswood Art Centre, all in Cape Town. While teaching, Maurice served as Western Cape convenor for the historic 1982 Botswana Arts Festival in Gaborone, a watershed in South African cultural history. He left teaching to take up a position with the South African National Gallery (SANG and now Iziko SANG) in 1988, where he was appointed Head of Education in 1995. While working at SANG, he was a member of the museum’s management, education, exhibitions and acquisitions committees, and also worked as a curator. In 1997, he was seconded from the museum by the now defunct national Department of Arts, Science and Technology (DACST), serving as Convenor of the Western Cape Working Group involved with the restructuring and transformation of South Africa’s national museums.

Maurice, who has published widely in brochures and exhibition catalogues and on the Internet over the years, left SANG in 2000 to work for Heritage Agency, a private company involved mainly with reconfiguring the South African heritage landscape. Here he worked on numerous projects, including an exhibition drawing on cultural materials from the UWC-RIM Mayibuye Archives at UWC for the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island; another on the history of Alexandra Township as part of the Alexandra Renewal Project; and the management of the Constitutional Court art collection. From June 2009 to May 2010 he was involved with an evaluation of museums falling under the Western Cape Department of Culture and Sport. In addition to being the Programme Convenor of the CHR’s Factory of the Arts, he currently works as a curator at the CHR, UWC, where he also teaches curatorship as part of the African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies (APMHS), run by UWC and Robben Island Museum. He is also a member of the South African Heritage Resource Agency’s Art Panel that advises the Permit Committee.

Maurice’s early work as a curator in the periods immediately before and after South Africa’s first universal franchise elections in 1994 sought to address the legacy of black exclusion, memory erasure and lost histories arising from apartheid myopia. In this respect, exhibitions on which he has worked, such as ‘District Six: Image and Representation’ (SANG, 1995) and ‘Lives of Colour: The Cape Photo-album’ (SANG, 1999), were attempts to interrupt and usurp apartheid cultural displacement, logic and convention through counter-hegemonic insertions in the South African cultural narrative and canon.

Maurice’s work as a curator in the recent postapartheid era has continued to focus on hidden or displaced voices in the archive, memory and counter-histories and -narratives. More particularly, his work has explored the South African visual counterculture movement of the 1980s, as represented through the Community Arts Project (CAP) Collection, acquired by the CHR in 2009 and housed at the UWC-Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archives at UWC. In this regard, and although his work on the accessioning, photographic documentation and archiving of this important and historic body of work is still continuing, he has curated two exhibitions drawing on this collection – ‘Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive’ (Art.b Gallery, Bellville, and Iziko SANG, 2012/13) and ‘Interruptions: Posters from the Community Arts Project’ (Open Design Festival, Cape Town City Hall, 2014). The first of these exhibitions was accompanied by a book of the same title, which he co-edited with Heidi Grunebaum. For their work as editors, the Faculty of Arts at UWC awarded them the 2013 Publications Award (Creative Work). Besides his work on the CAP Collection, Maurice also curated ‘Nelson Mandela – A Life of Selfless Service’ for UWC in 2013. His curatorial work has been recognised internationally, as reflected in his nomination for the 2014 Independent Vision Award, organised by the New York based Independent Curators International (ICI). His latest projects (early 2015) include  the development of the CHR’s website, an archive of the Centre’s institutional history, academic work and arts projects, and the curation of an exhibition entitled ‘Unlikely Arts’, scheduled for 2016.

Selected publications (2004 – 2013)

Emile Maurice (2004), “Tributes to the Constitution – The Art of the Court”. In Constitutional Court, Constitutional Court of South Africa Art Collection (CD made by Emile Maurice for the Court). Johannesburg: Constitutional Court of South Africa

Philippa Hobbs and Emile Maurice (eds) (2004), Resistance, Reconciliation and Reconstruction: An MTM Exhibition Celebrating 10 Years of Democracy. Johannesburg: MTN Foundation

Emile Maurice (2006), “Art, Heritage and a Posse of Pioneers”. In Philippa Hobbs (ed), Messages and Meanings; The MTN Collection. Johannesburg: MTN Foundation

Emile Maurice (2006), “Tyrone Appollis: Artist of Reconciliation”. In Stefan Hundt (ed), Tyrone Appollis: Today and Yesterday. Cape Town: Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd

Emile Maurice (2007), “Light, Dust, Leaves and Currency: The Work of Karel Nel.” In Emile Maurice (ed), Lost Light: Fugitive Images from Deep Space. Johannesburg: Standard Bank of South Africa

Emile Maurice and Philippa Hobbs (2009), “The Life and Work of Johannes Phokela”. Standard Bank supplement in the South African Art Times, February

Emile Maurice (2009), “Journey to the Constitution”. In Julia Charlton (ed), Signature Pieces: The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection. Johannesburg: Standard Bank of South Africa

Emile Maurice (ed.) (2009). Standard Bank Young Artists: 25. Johannesburg: Standard Bank of South Africa

Emile Maurice (2011), “Sharp End of the Stick: Images of Conflict and Confrontation”. In Mario Pissarra (ed), Visual Century: South African Art in Context. Johannesburg: Wits University Press

Heidi Grunebaum and Emile Maurice (eds.) (2012), Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive. Cape Town: Centre for Humanities Research, UWC

Emile Maurice (2012), “The Community Arts Project”. In Heidi Grunebaum and Emile Maurice (eds.), Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive. Cape Town: Centre for Humanities Research, UWC

Emile Maurice (2012), “The exhibition, ‘Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive’”. In Heidi Grunebaum and Emile Maurice (eds.), Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive. Cape Town: Centre for Humanities Research, UWC

Emile Maurice (2012), “Resistance Art”. In Heidi Grunebaum and Emile Maurice (eds.), Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive. Cape Town: Centre for Humanities Research, UWC

Emile Maurice (2012), “Thami Mnyele (Raid on Gaborone)”. In Heidi Grunebaum and Emile Maurice (eds.), Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive. Cape Town: Centre for Humanities Research, UWC

Emile Maurice (2012), “Role of the artist”. In Heidi Grunebaum and Emile Maurice (eds.), Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive. Cape Town: Centre for Humanities Research, UWC

Emile Maurice (2012), “Realising Humanity – The CAP Collection”. In Premesh Lalu and Noëleen Murray (eds.), Becoming UWC: Reflections, Pathways and Unmaking Apartheid’s Legacy. Cape Town: Centre for Humanities Research, UWC

Emile Maurice (2013), “Curating Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive.” [Online]. Available at: http://www.archivalplatform.org/blog/entry/cu (accessed 4 November 2014)

Emile Maurice (2013), “Curating Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive.” [Online]. Available at: http://www.archivalplatform.org/blog/entry/cu (accessed 4 November 2014)

Emile Maurice (2013), “Hidden Voices: Art and the Erasure of Memory in Post-apartheid South Africa”. [Online]. Available at: http://www.archivalplatform.org/blog/entry/hic (accessed 4 November 2014)

Emile Maurice (2013), “Obituary: Peter Clarke (1929-2014)”. [Online]. Available at: http://www.sahistory.org.za/sites/default/files/peter_clarke_obituary_uwc.pdf (accessed 11 March 2015)

Derek Carelse

No-191-CHR_Factory-of-the-Arts_Derek-Carelse_2015_No-191After spending a few years at the Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), Derek Carelse began his career as a photo-journalist in 1982. In this capacity, he worked for the Argus group, covering arts and culture, politics, sport and general news. One of his photos was selected for the ‘Argus Photo of the Year’ exhibition, which travelled throughout South Africa. Another was published in the Illustrated History of South Africa (1988), published by Reader’s Digest. His photographs are today in the Argus Archive in the South African National Library, Cape Town.

Carelse left the world of photo-journalism in 1984 to work as an art director in the advertising industry, where he spent the next 16 years until 2000, focussing on TV commercials, radio and print campaigns, and publishing design. He took a two-year break from the advertising industry from 1987 to 1988 when he joined the anti-apartheid newspaper, South, working as the launch art director and editorial designer. Thereafter he continued working in the advertising industry and in 2000, he co-founded O2 Advertising and Design Agency, of which he was also a partner and creative director. While working at O2 in 2005, he was approached to join the Spier Group, where he spent the next three years, working as group marketing director. Carelse then worked for the Provincial Government Western Cape (PGWC) where he was a project leader of a 7-month programme involving the development of digital tools for small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2009, he left the PGWC to become a founding partner of Membrane, a company working in the digital field, and which created ideas and solutions for businesses, NGOs and public sector departments. From 2011 to 2013, he joined MIH, a division of Naspers, as Head of Marketing for Leisurebooks, 36boutiques.com, South Africa’s first e-commerce fashion business, as well as 36man, South Africa’s first online lifestyle destination.

Carelse’s other projects include working on South Africa’s official bid book for the competition to stage the 2010 Rugby World Cup in the country; developing South Africa’s Team Book for the 2000 Olympics, which was awarded to Sydney; and a digital strategy and plan for the Provincial Government of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT).

Apart from his involvement in the cultural industry, Carelse has also played a role in arts education, having taught photography in the early 1980s at the Battswood Art Centre, Cape Town. In addition, he taught product design at MADESA (Manufacture Design South Africa), Cape Town; and concept development and presentation design to architecture students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), also in Cape Town.

Carelse has been a board member and trustee of various community committees and boards, such as Spier Holdings, the Honeycomb Montesorri School, Learning Curve (adult and youth development trust) and Spier Arts Trust. He is currently a board member of the Big Issue and the Africa Centre, both of which are based in Cape Town.

Carelse is the recipient of the following awards:

2012

  • Mbokodo Award for selling fashion online (36boutiques executive team award)

2007

  • First place for Spier annual report, South African Publications Forum
  • Loeries finalist for Spier annual report
  • First place for the best sustainability report, while working for Spier, Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA)
  • Honourable mention, international Conde Nast World Savers Award (Spier executive team)

2006

  • Clio award (New York) for the publication, Afro 2, with Daddy Buy Me a Pony advertising agency (Spier as client)
  • Second place, best sustainability report, Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA)

2007

  • Spier’s De Zalze golf course, first in the world to be Fair Trade accredited (executive team award)