From October 14 -17, 2014 the Acre 20 International Creativity Conference will be held at Bela Bela, South Africa. This annual event, started by Dr Kobus Neethling 20 years ago, will feature presenters and workshop leaders from all over the world.
Kobus was one of the keynote presenters at our own international Creativity & Cultural Diversity conference organised by Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke some years ago. At that event, Kobus emphasised the importance of strategic creativity in today's world which he saw as characterised by unselfishness, caring and compassion, but also wealth creation. He stressed the need to use such wealth to ensure a healthy people and a healthy planet. It was up to us, he argued, to decide if that was the kind of world we wanted to live in and, if so, this meant that we had to think very carefully about how we chose to use our creativity.
Mike van Graan graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the early eighties, having majored in English, and with a BA Honours degree in Drama. He is currently registered at UCT’s Drama Department for a Masters degree where he is exploring the (relative absence of the) theme of HIV/AIDS in mainstream, professional theatre since 1994.
Prior to the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, he served in leadership positions in numerous anti-apartheid cultural NGOs such as the Community Arts Project, Congress of South African Writers and the National Arts Coalition. He was appointed as a Special Advisor to the first Minister responsible for arts and culture in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet, where he played an influential role in helping to shape post-apartheid cultural policies.
Leonard is a specialist drawing teacher. He teaches a novel haptico-visual observation and drawing method, to a variety of students including MBChB students studying the human anatomy. The purpose of this observation method is to facilitate deep observation and cognitive memorisation of the object being studied. This method crucially involves touch (haptics), in addition to sight. We gather a vast amount of information from an object when we explore it through touch. Note that the nerves of the hand occupy a large area of the somatosensory cortex of the brain. Studying the human anatomy involves observing it, and drawing it significantly enhances one’s observation of it.
Leonard holds BA Fine Art (Hons) degree from University of Cape Town (UCT), Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) and a Bachelor of Social Science (BsocSc) degree from UCT.