Artslink.co.za News

A Country Imagined, new HD documentary series

Curious Pictures
04/13/2010 10:56:58

A Country Imagined, presented by Johnny Clegg, is a rewarding journey through South Africa as it explores the landscapes that have inspired artists.

From the industrial mining landscapes that have inspired the novels of Nadine Gordimer and the drawings of William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa and Durant Sihlali - to the mountains of the Eastern Cape from which the stirring words of Enoch Sontonga and Olive Schreiner were born- the South African landscape is extravagant and diverse.

A Country Imagined takes us on an unusual and rewarding journey through South Africa as it explores the landscapes that have inspired artists, writers, musicians and dancers for centuries.

Presented by one of South Africa's most loved and famous musicians and dancers - Johnny Clegg - who is also an anthropologist, A Country Imagined takes us through South Africa's most beautiful and culturally layered spaces - and through this, we explore the rich histories of art in the country and the "imaginings" of our society.

Johnny Clegg, who celebrates his thirtieth year in the music industry this year, combines a unique ability to learn, teach and perform simultaneously. In the series he performs with musicians and dancers in remote villages around the country, talks to artists, both famous and unknown, hikes the Drakensberg to find the best rock art and views, travels in hot air balloons, helicopters and boats. To this he brings his insight, expertise and a great deal of humour, offering viewers a rich and accessible perspective on South African art.

The series introduces us to South African artists and their work as well as the landscapes they create from. Some, like Nadine Gordimer, George Pemba, Olive Schreiner, Hugh Masekela, Gerard Sekoto, William Kentridge and David Goldblatt are known around the world. Others will soon be. Some - like the beaders and potters of remote rural villages have mostly produced works without signatures. A Country Imagined brings them all together - featuring work by more than 400 artists - through a fascinating exploration of art and artists set against a backdrop of spectacular scenery and a vexed and dramatic history.

Produced by Curious Pictures, (Tobias' Bodies, The Lab, Hard Copy, Tsha Tsha, Hopeville) the series has taken two years to make. It has involved traversing 80 000 kilometres, often over difficult terrain, scouring regional art galleries and private collections for artwork of lesser-known artists and literally hundreds of hours of research. It is produced by Lusanda Chauke and art historian Tracy Murinik and directed by some of South Africa's most acclaimed directors, including Guy Spiller, John Trengove, Vincent Moloi, Feizel Mamdoo, Liza Key and Terri Ella.

Shot on HD, with remarkable aerial, historical and time-lapse photography, A Country Imagined is a 13 episode one-hour series, set to be aired on SABC2 Sundays at 9pm, starting April 25 2010.

To commemorate this, Johnny Clegg will be embarking on a 30th Anniversary tour of South Africa and will be releasing a 30th Anniversary album package. He is also working on a new album which will be released this year too.


Artslink.co.za Account:
Viva Liles-Wilkin
Curious Pictures
viva@curious.co.za
011 726 2828
076 327 0154
SABC2