The Artists’ Gathering 2023 | Placed
Fri Sep 8, 12:00 - Sun Sep 10, 13:00
Andrew Murray Centre for Spirituality
Welcome to the Artists’ Gathering
This is the 8th year that artists across the Cape Winelands gather together in mutual encouragement. Join us for a weekend of rest and re-inspiration, where we explore creativity and faith, share ideas and are affirmed in our vocation as artists. Times are tough economically, and artists feel it in their livelihoods and pockets. We have therefore partnered with small businesses to help subsidise part of the ticket price for this year’s gathering. We are deeply indebted to these sponsors, so please support them in return.
For R750 you will be hosted in the beautiful, historic Andrew Murray Centre in Wellington, with a stunning chapel, rooms for reflection and gardens and grounds to explore. For R1800 you can enjoy a full retreat with accommodation, meals and all expenses included.
More about the theme: Placed
Artists and creatives often have an ambivalent feeling about ‘fitting in’. We crave uniqueness and individuality, but at the same time want to feel accepted. We don’t easily conform. We can feel like we occupy in-between places.
In the book of Proverbs, wisdom personified is said to ‘stand at the crossroads’ (Prov 8:2), calling out to those in need. Maybe the crossroads, like other in-between places, are spaces of exceptional wisdom. If we as artists want to stand at the crossroads - between church and the art market, between academia and grassroots movements, between the ordained and the layperson - we need to have wisdom.
At the Artist Gathering this year we hope to call artists to step into their ‘fit’, growing into their role to inspire others, celebrate diversity and walk boldly within the church and society.
If we ‘find our fit’, so to speak, and take responsibility for our context, along with all its unique challenges, we are ‘well placed’, even if it means the places that we occupy are challenging. Living and working on the borders of society can foster a wisdom-led walk that comes with maturity of faith.
If we allow God to shape us, we can be fitted into our vocation like a perfect piece of wood in the hands of a master craftsman. In turn we can become the ones who build on a solid foundation with good quality materials (1 Cor 3:11). Then we’ll see that we are perfectly placed to serve God and each other.
Friday 8 Sept 2023
12:00 Registration and lunch
(Chapel will also be available in this time if you need a quiet place to start the weekend)
14:20 Theological grounding - Dr JB Krohn
15:15 Artist Presentation - N'lamwai Chitambo
Title: Connecting your Purpose-Filled Subject Matter to Your Relationship with God.
16:00 Tea and Coffee Break
16.30 Artist Presentation - Chris Soal (Zoom)
Title: Thinking creatively, personally and faithfully about discipline
17:00 Keynote speaker - Mandla Nyathi
Talk title: 'We Will Have to Create It'
19:30 Movement workshop - Jessica Williams (Inbodi _)
Workshop description: 'Sit, Stand, Walk- exploring inter-action and the everyday'
Saturday 9 Sept 2023
08:00 Registration and breakfast
09:30 Opening Address
09:40 Artist Presentation- Ydi Carstens
Title: Slow growth and seedling faith- painting as an act of wrestling with God.
10:00 Concept presentation talk - Heidi Salzwedel
Talk title: Discarnate | Incarnate | Commission
10:45 Tea and Coffee Break
11:00 Pastors panel - Stephan Cloete, Mandla Nyathi, Dr Angelique Havenga, Rev. Carel Pienaar
Convenor: Dr JB Krohn
14:00 Break-out sessions
15:00 Keynote speaker - Dr Wesley van der Lugt (Zoom)
Title: The Beauty of a Well-Placed Work
16:30 Tea and Coffee Break
16:45 Workshop - UCT YMCA: Ntobeko Mjijwa and Jordan Pickering
Title: The Role of Creative Communities in Place-making
19:00 Open mic and concert - Stephan Cloete
Sunday 10 Sept 2023
08:30 Coffee & breakfast
09:30 Artist Presentation - Maryke van Velden
Title: Own(ed) pieces: addressing the outcast to map home.
10:00 Artist Presentation - Nerina Welman
Title: Zie het Lam van God- an interactive public art labyrinth in Belgium.
10:30 Tea and Coffee Break
10:45 Plein air watercolour workshop - Stephen Quirke
Workshop title: ‘Stepping into my fit’
12:00 Visio Divina Commissioning Service and Communion (Chapel)
More about the keynote speakers:
Mandla was born in Uganda, and has been living in South Africa for the past 25 years- currently in Johannesburg with his wife and two children. He was formerly a pastor with Every Nation Church in Cape Town and he ran ‘That Beautiful Thing’, an edgy outreach initiative for creatives in the city. He enjoys being a minister, speaker, and writer and is currently pioneering Epiphany, a creative lifestyle platform that exists by the mantra “the Africa we desire will not be handed to us, WE WILL HAVE TO CREATE IT”.
Dr James Krohn is a theological educator, former pastor, and the founder-director of KRUX. He studied visual arts before moving on to focus on Theology; first studying under Dr JI Packer in Canada and later completing a DTh on Calvin’s Trinitarian vision in Stellenbosch. He has served on the faculties of the Bible Institute of South Africa and George Whitefield College, and as sessional lecturer at Regent College in Canada. James is married to Corli, and together with their five children they are avid outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.
N’lamwai Luntha Chithambo was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1997 to Malawian parents. In 2019 Chithambo completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Rhodes University with distinction in Fine Art Practice and went on to complete his Masters in Fine Art in 2023. During the period of his undergraduate and postgraduate studies he twice featured in the Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards Top 100 Exhibition (2019, 2022) as well as displayed his work at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (2016, 2019). Working predominantly in the medium of oil paint, Chithambo’s artistic interests lie in the day-to-day challenges that affect the consciousness, consciences, and identities of African individuals, particularly, but not limited to, black African youths. Many of these complexities are observed through the autobiographical lens of his perceived identity as a black Scotland-born, South African-raised, Malawi national and therefore have a growing interest in the topics of nationality and migration. Chithambo’s work largely involves an exploration and combination of his belief in God, portraiture, and Afro-centric comic books, often molded into a storytelling format. By using the method of storytelling, he aims to journey with his paintings, rather than settle on a fixed idea. Chithambo currently resides in Johannesburg where he is occupying a studio at Ellis House Art Building and pursuing his passion for the arts.
Rev Dr Wesley van der Lugt is the Acting Director of the Leighton Ford Initiative in Theology, the Arts, and Gospel Witness at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He holds a PhD in Theology, Imagination, and the Arts from the University of St. Andrew and is the author of several books and articles, including Living Theodrama: Reimagining Theological Ethics. His most recent book, which is about to be published, is Beauty Is Oxygen: Finding a Faith that Breathes. He is one of the co-founders and is the Operations Director at Kinship Plot, a community of learning and practice who care deeply about reimagining and embodying resonant relationships and are committed to bringing their various gifts, and expertise to the table. He and his wife Stephanie, are enthusiasts for community, reflection-on-action, transformation, beauty, gardening, and gathering eclectic groups of people.
How do I get to the venue
Our venue this year is the Andrew Murray Centre for Spirituality, which is located at Jan Van Riebeeckstraat 15B in Wellington and is approximately 40min drive from Stellenbosch and 50min from Cape Town. The Google maps link is provided in the Event Venue section.
A guard on duty at the gate will sign you in, and secure parking is available for day visitors and overnight guests.
What are my accommodation options?
There are two options for overnighting during the conference:
Accommodation at the Andrew Murray Centre costs R529 p.p.night and is included in the ‘full retreat package. Bedding and towelling are included. To see pictures of the ensuite rooms, you can visit https://www.andrewmurraysentrum.co.za/facilities/.
Alternatively, you can find your own accommodation at a guest house or airbnb for the duration of the conference, which will be on your own account. Note that coffee and breakfast are included for ALL guests of the conference, not just overnight guests.
If you prefer to drive home at night, lift clubs can be organised for those who commute from Cape Town and Stellenbosch every day.
What does my entry fee include?
A Weekend conference-retreat ticket (R750) includes 6 meals, all teas and coffees, art materials for the workshop, access to all talks, and access to the concert performance.
A Saturday only ticket (R500) includes 3 meals, all teas and coffees, access to all talks, and access to the concert performance
A Full Retreat ticket includes accommodation in an ensuite room (with bedding and towelling), 6 meals, all teas and coffees, art materials for the workshop, access to all talks, and access to the concert performance.
I can't attend the whole weekend. Can I attend one day or just the concert?
YES! We charge R500 for a Saturday day ticket, but you can also come Friday or Sunday only if you prefer. If you're only popping in for one session without meals, entrance is free, but if you want to join us for meals too, send us an email and we will invoice you for the specific meals.
* PLEASE INFORM US IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS.
Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the door (cash and Snapscan).
How can I pay?
It is easiest if you pay for your ticket via the Quicket platform, but you can also make your payment via EFT.
If using EFT please use the account below
Branch code 051001
Account number 10147038632
SWIFT SBZA ZA JJ
Reference: AG2023 and your surname (Please send a Proof of Payment to [email protected])
What can I bring to the event?
- You are welcome to bring physical and/or digital examples of your work to share with peers - there will be tables and display boards to display your work.
- Something warm to wear - it is a historical building and can become chilly in winter.
- Art materials to use during free time
- Music or backtrack if you want to perform something at the OPEN MIC concert
Is the event affiliated with any particular church?
The event is ecumenical (i.e. representing different churches) but functions broadly within a reformed evangelical tradition. The event has a similar theological ethos to that of L'Abri fellowship, founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer in the 1950's. Dr JB Krohn, who heads Krux, attained his theological degree at Regent College, where he studied under scholars such as J.L. Packer and Eugene Peterson.
How did the Artists' Gathering start?
The Artists’ Gathering is an initiative that began in 2015 when Heidi Salzwedel, then curator of an art gallery in Franschhoek, and James Krohn, the director of the newly founded KRUX Christian Study Centre, wanted to create a space where artists of faith can meet.
The first gathering took place in July 2016 at East Mountain, a Christian Ministry located on a farm outside Stellenbosch. To everyone’s surprise around 30 artists from the Western Cape region attended, and some even came from as far as Johannesburg. Wesley Vander Lugt was the first keynote speaker and set a standard that brought instant import and a clear sense of mission to the Gathering. The following year Gideon Strauss was the guest speaker, as the ‘gathering’ grew into a mini-conference stretching over three days of lectures, presentations and discussions.
Since then, the gathering has become one of the most popular events on the KRUX calendar. The ethos of the Gathering is centred around friendship and hospitality, with an intimate conversational style making room for self-reflection and laughter. At the Gathering, artists, poets, musicians, practitioners and academics from a wide spectrum rub shoulders in an atmosphere of generous orthodoxy and encouragement.
What is the purpose of the Gathering?
Being a Christian in the world of the Arts is challenging on many levels, as alienation is a common experience within the church, and opposition to faith a constant reality outside. Solitariness invites isolation. Gathering faith-based artists into a community for discourse, dialogue and practice in the arts within a Christian worldview, is therefore both liberating and life-giving.
The purpose of the Gathering is to provide intellectually stimulating discussion in the Arts and to engage with Visual Faith in a way that is Biblically credible and sustainable. The discourse ranges from providing a basic faith-informed vocational vocabulary for young artists, to deep engagement with the conceptual complexities embedded in and presented by contemporary and postmodern art. The principal aim is to equip, encourage and support local artists in their vocation to the glory of the Triune God. The Gathering provides ample room for sharing work and ideas, hopes and dreams, and mutual encouragement in faithful vocation.
If you would need any further information, please feel free to contact Heidi Salzwedel or Ydi Carstens at [email protected]
If you would like to join us but finances are holding you back, please email Heidi at [email protected] and we can see what the options are in terms of being one of the sponsored artists.
We look forward to seeing you there!