Change the world

Visual Arts


The Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year is a compulsory programme for students wishing to major in Painting. For more information

The discipline of painting has been expanded to face the challenges of a multimodal world of visual communication. No single style or form is dictated in approach or concept. The process, form, content, concept, design, and execution follow on from these sound traditional underpinnings expanding them into a mutli- or trans-disciplinary approach to image making in general. Experimentation and play form a key element in this new and innovative way of delivering artworks on multiple platforms other than that of the traditional art gallery.

The course commences in a more traditional vein as students are equipped with the technical skills necessary to master at least one of three painting media – oil, acrylic and water colour.

In order to develop formally, that is to understand the visual grammar of art-making in general and painting in particular, an in-depth study of colour, tone, line and texture is expected. Studio projects are set in such a way that they stimulate the understanding and application of this visual grammar. Each project also requires the investigation of relevant historical models as well as contemporary technologies and techniques of production.

Painting student, Robyn Munnick by Abrie de Koning ©2015

At a third-year level, students are expected to motivate and with guidance, design their own direction, taking into account their degree of technical and formal proficiency. It is at this level that the student may choose to work across disciplines and with any medium or set of media – this may extend to include video and digital new media. In order to facilitate this, a statement of intent must be produced, one which plots an individually oriented course in terms of technique, form, subject matter and content. The overall aim is to promote responsibility and stimulate an intelligent, lateral exploration of visual and written data. It is hoped that by putting together a personal strategy based on research, the student will be encouraged to develop self-motivation – a prerequisite for functioning as a contemporary artist.

Career opportunities may include collaborative government and corporate based projects, funded community based projects, gallery management, art education (primary, secondary, tertiary), museum curatorship and small business opportunities centred on self employment.

Contact information
Dr Pieter Binsbergen
Head of Department: Fine Arts
Tel: 041 5043647
pieter.binsbergen@mandela.ac.za