Hosting the finest contemporary art from Africa for the world.
The Stellenbosch Triennale is the brainchild of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust and it’s years of experience in enacting public art exhibitions in Stellenbosch. The Triennale takes public art in Stellenbosch to new heights in terms of it’s international reach, the scope and variety of the art to be showcased as well as it’s intention to place creativity in critical dialogue with society. The Triennale marks an intentional and purposeful attempt to use creativity, imagination and public space as a meeting point in engaging with the collective and distinctive milieu of our past, present and future existence and all it’s complexities- a place where we imagine futures.
The Stellenbosch Triennale aims to make Stellenbosch the primary destination of multi-disciplinary art in Africa by tapping into the creative impetus that is reverberating across the continent. The Triennale turns Stellenbosch into a curated public laboratory for creative expressions and engagements in response to society’s question’s now, then and there; what kind of people do we want to be? What relations to nature do we cherish? What knowledges and technologies do we deem appropriate? What aesthetic values do we hold? The Stellenbosch Triennale holds great promise of interesting horizons of possibility and shifts for the town of Stellenbosch and beyond.
The Stellenbosch Triennale emerges within a creative cultural renaissance in South Africa that has seen new public and private art institutions take shape with the Zeitz-MOCAA and the Norval Foundation in Cape Town and the Javett Art Centre in Pretoria being welcome additions. The Stellenbosch Triennale pulls threads from this existing ecosystem as well as adding to it by offering a different location that seeks to use the Triennale as a vehicle to re-imagine Stellenbosch as a creative city. Stellenbosch is internationally renowned for its natural beauty, history, culture, wine and educational institutions which have made it one of South Africa’s premier destinations.
What is a Triennale?
Italian meaning every three years. Triennale or biennale is most commonly used within the artworld to describe large-scale contemporary art exhibitions from select countries. Named after the town which hosts them. Over 600 biennales & triennales in the world, but none in southern Africa. Unlike art fairs or festivals, triennales/biennales are not commercial or sales-driven.
Mike Tigere Mavura is a Trustee of the Stellenbosch Triennale. He holds a PhD in International Relations from Rhodes University and currently works as a Change Agent and Lecturer in the Visual Studies Department at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography. He is a Trustee of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust as well as an independent curator. In 2019 Mike initiated the Creative Dialogues Forum at the Stellenbosch Academy which brought together creatives, artists, advertisers, designers, curators and academics from primarily South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to share perspectives and expertise in three key areas: technology and the creative Industries; trends and issues in visual communication in Africa; and the role of creativity in defining African futures.
Mike participated in the British Council and National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s Emerging Curators’ workshop ‘New Ideas, New Possibilities’ in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe 2011. He has also worked as a researcher for the Puncture Points Project and the Africa Centre’s Infecting the City –‘What Will We Tell Freedom’ festival. In 2018, Mike curated the exhibition Vedanā: Experiences in Tonality at the Norval Foundation, and in 2016 he was the recipient of a Pro-Helvetia Research Grant for his ‘Mapping Southern Africa Project’ enabling him to research art and cultural centres’ organisational practices in Southern Africa.