Ezequiel Mabote woodcut prints exhibition

Billy Suter’s arts and theatre wrap

SOME colourful new woodcut prints by Ezequiel Mabote are now to be seen at The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery, which is housed in the same complex as the Butterflies for Africa attraction at 37 Willowton Road in Pietermaritzburg.

“We’re delighted to present a new collection by one of Southern Africa’s most popular woodcut artists – from the quirky to the serene, these woodcut prints demonstrate Ezequiel’s fine workmanship in delivering pieces alive with joyful movement and creativity,” says curator Jeni Cramer.

In the picture above: A woodcut print by Ezequiel Mabote, titled Happyland III, currently on show at The Blue Caterpillar art gallery in Pietermaritzburg.

Mabote is a self-taught artist from Mozambique who got his inspiration as a child, learning from older boys in his neighbourhood who did woodcarving and fabric design.

Fine art

He learnt the basics of art at school but was forced to abandon these studies to find work to support his family. Later in life he got the opportunity to study fine art at the Nucleo de Arte in Maputo, where he developed his skills in woodcut printing.

“The high degree of quality and professionalism in his work is testament to his talent and dedication to art. Ezequiel’s work has been exhibited in a number of galleries worldwide, including several exhibitions in New York and Chicago,” says Cramer.

For more details contact 033 3871356 or visit the website: www.artsales.co.za.

For my review of the gallery and the delightful Butterflies for Africa enclosure – which has attracted more than 100 species of butterfly to a 6 000 square-metre garden created solely to attract the creatures – click here

Meanwhile, if you love musical blasts from the past, with a particular emphasis on commercial songs from the 1970s, you’d do well to drive to Durban to catch seasoned local vocal trio The Gee Jays – John Didlick, Grant Bell and Gary MacKenzie.

Upcoming shows at the Rhumbelow, PMB


Popular vocal trio The Gee Jays will salute songs of the 1970s in Durban this weekend

They will be performing their Don’t Tune Me, Ek Se at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 2pm on Sunday (August 17 to 19).

A mixed bag of South African nostalgia, corny cracks, comedy and song, the show features old hits such as Pretty Belinda, Yellow River, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Rhinestone Cowboy, Let Your Love Flow and Have You Ever Seen the Rain. It salutes acts as varied as Paul McCartney and Wings, The Village People, The Beatles, the Bee Gees, The Bellamy Brothers, Jim Croce, Neil Diamond, Alan Garrity, Charisma and even Jeremy Taylor.

Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners) and booking is by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

Also note that Durban band The Reals – Barry Thomson, Dawn Selby, Mali Sewell and Jason Andrew – are performing a new show this week with special guests Neill Solomon and Dan Chiorboli.

The team perform at 8pm nightly until Saturday and at 2pm on Sunday, at the Rhumbelow Theatre’s Kloof branch at Tina’s Hotel in Beryldene Road.

Uptown Rhythm Dogs

Twenty years have flown by since Neill Solomon and Dan Chiorboli played in their home town and there is a growing sense of anticipation around the homecoming dates at The Rhumbelow. The two have had extremely eventful lives in the musical world, from Neill’s early solo career through to Neill Solomon & The Uptown Rhythm Dogs, The Passengers and The Uptown Rhythm Collective, among many other projects the two have been involved with in between.

World project

Their new project, The Liberation Project, has just released Songs That Made Us Free – South Africa / Italy / Cuba (co-produced with Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music and Pink Floyd fame). This epic triple-CD musical adventure, based on the freedom and liberation theme of the three countries, features 36 songs recorded in 20 different studios around the world, with a total of 142 musicians and groups from 18 different countries. For more info visit www.theliberationproject.co.za

Following on from their sold-out concert at the Joburg Theatre commemorating Nelson Mandela’s legacy, as a finale to Africa Month, and performances at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and Soweto International Jazz Festival, the duo is excited about coming home to seeing their old friends and perform (together with The Reals), a full spectrum of songs from their early days through to the current album.

Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners), seating is at tables of six and booking is by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.

KZNPO Early Spring Season programme and contact details

Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis in The Spy Who Dumped Me, showing in cinemas countrywide from this weekend.

On to the movie scene… among films new in cinemas this weekend is The Spy Who Dumped Me, an action-comedy directed by Susanna Fogel. Teaming Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon and Justin Theorux, it tells of best friends who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy.

New Way of Seeing

Also new on screen this weekend, at Cinema Nouveau at the Ster-Kinekor complex at Gateway in Umhlanga, is Vincent Van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing, an Exhibition on Screen documentary about the famous artist. Screenings have been scheduled for 7.30pm on Saturday, 2.30pm on Sunday and 7.30pm next Wednesday and Thursday.

SHOWBIZ TRIVIA: DO YOU KNOW?
The opening instrumental piece on Dire Straits’s Tunnel of Love song is a reworking of music from what classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical? (Answer next week)

Last week’s question was: What actress, nominated for her starring role in the movie Almost Famous, is the daughter of Oscar-winner Goldie Hawn? (Answer: Kate Hudson)