Ensuring Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) students and alumni are productively developing, is a key, strategic objective of the University’s Envision 2030.
DUT Alumna, Lauriana Glenny, a former Fine Art graduate from the then Technikon Natal, is currently exhibiting her solo works entitled: Finding Beauty, Inspiring Hope, at the Stepping Stone Studios in Assagay, until end of February 2021.
“I graduated in 1994 as a Fine Art student and it has taken a while to find my voice. I had a solo exhibition in 2010 entitled: On Route, which was at the Artsfest Durban in Umgeni Road. My goal last year was to have a solo exhibition, and it was a 10-year anniversary of my previous one,” she said.
Glenny said because of lockdown this did not happen, but what happened is that she looked at her surroundings and looked at ordinary, everyday things that sometimes are taken for granted.
“I think lockdown did that for a lot of us, that we were forced to look at our surroundings and see them in a new light. So, I think my desire that people would get out of my exhibition, is that there would be a sense of hope, look at something very ordinary and you choose to see it, with fresh, creatively, inspired eyes, and in a new light,” she stressed.
For Glenny, even though it seems like such an interesting journey because she had graduated in 1994 and had worn many different hats from being a techno designer, to a teacher, to name but a few, she had indicated that she felt like she was running away from this calling to use her paintbrush.
It took her a while to figure it out and she needed to scratch that itch and get it out of her system as design was a big pull for her in the design world and keeping up with trends. She even taught for a while but missed painting, which she majored in.
“I realised I was teaching for a time but I was dying inside and that I needed to paint and it was the way I had been wired,” she said.
Even though Glenny was leaning towards Graphics and thought of studying it, she knew immediately when she worked into the Fine Art studio at Natal Technikon, as a 17-year-old matric student, that she had arrived and needed to do Fine Art.
She further explained that she received immense encouragement from the then head of the department at that time, Tony Starkie, who saw her portfolio and had encouraged her to pursue Fine Art. Currently, where her exhibition is being held, is owned by another former Natal Technikon student, the of renowned Greg Hayes, and a former Emma Smith scholarship recipient and master print maker. He owns the gallery, having been in a thriving successful picture framing business for nearly 27 years. Her exhibition is the first showing at his gallery.
Glenny also spoke about her process of how she captures photos before embarking on drawing her art.
“There are very interesting landscapes that I had did through a trained window and when I took the photo I did not realise at the time that there was a reflection of a man in the photograph, which I had not even noticed, so it was such a lesson for me that so often we can be looking at something but not really seeing,” she said.
She said that the beauty of an art piece, is that it encourages people ‘to do’. “My brush strokes aim to inspire hope and lift someone. I had such a beautiful message from someone who had visited last Saturday morning. She could not pull away from one of my paintings, she just stood there, immersed, in one of my bridge pictures. She came away looking at the artwork, changed,” she said.
Her words of wisdom to students who wish to study Fine Art at DUT is to be authentic.
“The reason why you draw or sculpt is to come from you. You have to find your ‘red hot, why’ and if you find your ‘red hot why’ then that will lead to ‘your what to do’ and then you will find your ‘who’, which is the audience. I worked in the field where trends are supremely important, and when it comes to being an authentic artist, you have to find your own voice. Find your ‘why’ then the rest will follow,” she said.
To book to view the exhibition, contact Lauriana Glenny on 084 206 1345 or Greg Hayes on 083 946 9094 during office hours. Numbers will be limited; COVID-19 protocols will be in place.
Pictured: DUT Alumna, Lauriana Glenny with Greg Hayes, also a former Natal Technikon student.