PENN PUTS A NEW FACE IN THE BOOK
By: Khethukuthula Lembethe
Durban University of Technology’s Fine Art lecturer Cheryl Penn is working on a ‘book of faces’ called Facebook that she will exhibit at the Digital Festival later this month.
The art enthusiast has put together a book that represents “the 20 years into democracy Facebook” and depicts the face of 20 years of democracy.
“Harmony here that is born of art, I feel it’s pretended everywhere else but here it’s real,” Penn said.
Democracy is clearly depicted in her classroom, with students of different race groups and backgrounds.
“I’m grateful to my students that have taught me a lot about black people, given me a view of how people in the townships live and also how similar we are.”
Penn thinks there has been growth, and it’s all in getting to know and accepting everyone.
“I expect respect from you to me and from me to you,” Penn exclaimed.
And that is how she can have fun with her students in the classroom and can still keep a professional atmosphere.
“Educating is my job- I have to create harmony in the classroom where everyone is unique but must work together.”
Facebook will also be exhibited at KZNSA in October and later be available digitally on her blog site- cheryl.pennblogsite.
When asked how she feels about the digital integration trend she answered, “I don’t believe in the digital- I believe in the tangible. I still believe in books and paintings.
Some of the paintings will have art codes for the audience to scan and view on line. In that way the true essence of traditional paintings is not forgotten and also the new way of digital living is embraced.
Yet she also admitted that there is good and bad about the digital world.
“I believe in the real time- we are humans; we are made to touch,” she added.
Penn strongly believes painting and photography in South Africa are a work in progress, just like our democracy.