Terry Kurgan is an artist who lives and works in Johannesburg. Most of her projects are realized through photo-based media in a practice that is characterized by an underlying coherence that links her work in diverse fields and often, across disciplines. Inter-related concerns run through works made for different contexts, whether personal projects developed for a gallery/museum, projects made in response to a public space and its associated community, or projects realized in relation to the social communications needs of a business or corporate environment. Kurgan's artistic interest is in photography, and in the nature of all photographic transactions. Her creative process is driven by a desire to establish relationships and directly engage with people, community and place alongside a keen interest in the confluence of public and private realm issues and spaces.
She particularly enjoys projects that require a contextual response. These have been sited in spaces as diverse as a maternity hospital, a popular Johannesburg shopping mall and a prison, and combine design and spatial understanding with a new and exciting way of representing contemporary South African social issues. Kurgan studied Fine Art in South Africa and the U.S.A, has taught at South African universities and often consults to media and social communications companies. She is an active member of the Joubert Park Project, an energetic artist's collective who share a passion for projects in Johannesburg's inner city. Kurgan won the prestigious South African FNB Vita Prize for contemporary art in 2000 and was nominated with her client and collaborators for Business Art South Africa/Business Day awards in 2004 and 2005. She has exhibited broadly, nationally and internationally and her work is represented in most major public and corporate South African collections and art publications.
1992 MFA - Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa
1982 BAFA - California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California, USA
Current Projects & Activities
Hotel Yeoville: Working in partnership with the Wits Forced Migration Studies Programme towards an exhibition, web project and book publication. Hotel Yeoville maps a demographically typical block on either side of Page Street in Yeoville to investigate, record and make visible the experience of the people who are living there. The project also explores the ambiguous and complex nature of photographic transactions.
Idensitat 07: Home/Away International art project, exhibition and laboratory for public art projects experimenting with new ways of social engagement and public participation. Invited to participate with an exhibition of the Hotel Yeoville project in process. Calaf, Manresa *& Mataro- Spain.
Treason Trial Programme: Commissioned by the Joubert Park Project (JPP - an artist's laboratory based at the Drill Hall in the inner City of Johannesburg) and working in collaboration with artist Usha Seejarim and a team of others; this process driven project aims to produce an exhibition, book and a film product resulting from an extensive series of interactions between a select group of 30 inner city high school kids and a small surviving group of men and women who were tried with 156 others in the legendary Treason Trial held at the Drill Hall exactly 50 years ago.
Leadership in Development: Awarded a social communications tender by the IDC in a joint venture with Halo New Media - corporate communications specialists. Kurgan will design, produce and install a series of large format mixed media exhibitions into the IDC's Sandton building at regular intervals over the period of a year, which will become the 'objects' of Halo New Media's internal communications campaign.
** indicates catalogue available
2005 Terry Kurgan Photographs 1924 - 2005, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
2003 Skip, Bell - Roberts Gallery, Cape Town **
2002 Lost and Found, presented by the Goodman Gallery, Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
2000 Family Affairs, Gertrude Posel Gallery, Johannesburg and Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet, Cape Town
1999 Maternal Exposures, a series of permanent exhibitions into the maternity wards of Groote Schuur and Mowbray Maternity Hospitals in Cape Town
1997 Home Truths, July - Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg,
1995 Take My Picture, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town
Selected Group Exhibitions
** indicates catalogue available
2007 Idensitat 07: Home/Away, International laboratory for public art projects experimenting with new ways of social engagement and participation - participating with an exhibition of the Hotel Yeoville project in process. Calaf, Manresa *& Mataro- Spain.
2007 ArtSeasons 2007, Franschhoek, Cape Town
2006 Form and Substance, Erdmann Contemporary & The Photographers Gallery ZA, Cape Town
2004 Show us what you are made of - Part 1, Curated by Stephen Hobbs. The Premises Gallery - Inaugural Exhibition, Johannesburg Civic Theatre.
2002 Three Women, The Rampart Walk, The Memory Room, collaborative multi-media installations, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg **
2001 Joubert Park Public Art Project, Curated by Dorothee Kreutzfeld, Bie Venter & Jo Ractliffe. Johannesburg Art Gallery & Joubert Park Precinct, Johannesburg **
2000 A.R.E.A. 2000 - Art Region End of Africa, Curated by Gavin Younge. Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland. **
1999 Unplugged IV, Rembrandt van Rijn Art Gallery, Johannesburg
1998 Bliss, Contemporary South African Photographers. Curated by Heidi Erdmann. Area Gallery, Cape Town
1997 Lifetimes: An exhibition of South African Art. Curated by Ruth Sack. Out of Africa Festival, Aktionsforum Praterinsel, Munich, Germany
1996 Don't mess with Mister Inbetween: 15 Artistas da Africa do Sul, Culturgest Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal. Curated by Ruth Rosengarten and Angela Ferreira. **
Selected Public Projects and Corporate Commissions
2007 Leadership in Development: Awarded a social communications tender by the IDC in a joint venture with Halo New Media.
2006 Hotel Yeoville, exhibition/book/website, in collaboration with Wits Forced Migration Studies Programme
2005 Face Up. Commissioned to do the photography for a book publication profiling Discovery's projects in the public health sector, in collaboration with writer & critic Alex Dodd and the client - Discovery Corporate Social Investment Division
2002/3 Constitution Hill. Appointed as member of a multi-disciplinary team drawn together by Ochre Media and commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency to develop a feasibility study and business plan with regard to the development of a museum, education and tourism precinct on Constitution Hill. Curator/designer of 3 multi media installations - Three Women, The Rampart Walk and the Fort Entrance that were installed on the site as a part of the feasibility study research process.
2002 Moving Pictures, Moving People. Commissioned by Ochre Media to produce a multi-media booth installation for the XIV International AIDS Conference, Barcelona, Spain and the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Worked in collaboration with architect Nina Cohen, Film-maker Sam Smirin and Dymond Engineering
2001 Joubert Park Public Art Project. Invited by the curators to make a work that engaged with the culture and economy of the Joubert Park precinct. Developed a portable studio project as a small business venture with the Association of Park Photographers.
2000 Beyond Racism. Commissioned by ConXtions Social Communications to design and produce a multi media installation for an international conference on racism
1999 Maternal Exposures. Permanent installations into Groote Schuur and Mowbray Maternity Hospitals in Cape Town. Designed in collaboration with architect, Nina Cohen.
Selected Awards and Grants
2006 Business & Arts South Africa/Business Day Award (finalist)
** indicates catalogue available
2004 Johannesburg Circa Now: photography and the city, exhibition, education project and publication, with Jo Ractliffe, Johannesburg Art Gallery **
2002 Three Women, The Rampart Walk, The Memory Room, commissioned by Ochre media and Johannesburg Development Agency, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg **
1998 Bringing Up Baby: Artists Survey The Reproductive Body, Exhibition Standard Bank National Arts Festival -Grahamstown (toured nationally) **
Selected Bibliography & References
Alexander, R. (1998) "The notion of a birth" Mail and Guardian, June 5 to 11
Johannesburg Art Gallery * Durban Art Gallery * MTN Corporate Collection * Sasol Corporate Collection * South African National Gallery * Katrine Harries Print Cabinet - University of Cape Town * Irma Stern Museum * Cape Town Centre for African Studies - University of Cape Town IDC Corporate Collection * RMB London Corporate Collection * Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Chicago
Other Professional Involvement
Terry Kurgan has taught at university institutions around the country, including some postgraduate supervision and external examination. She consults to a range of corporate clients with regard to their social communications strategies and specializes in projects that require a contextual response. She is chair of the board, and an active member of the Joubert Park Project, a non-profit artist's collective and laboratory who share a passion for projects in Johannesburg's inner city and operate out of the Drill Hall in downtown Johannesburg.