Theses and Dissertations (Visual Arts and Design)

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    Culture as a weapon of the struggle: black women artists contributions to South African art history through conferences and festivals between 1982 and 1990
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2018-11) Sooful, Avitha; Gbadamosi, Raimi, Prof.; Carman, Jillian, Dr.
    Studies on art made by women have been deprived of their place in the history of art, globally, however, within the South African context, white women were placed firmly within the arts while black women were marginalised. This study makes two assertions, that culture was used as a weapon during apartheid in the 1980s, and that black women, as artists, contributed to South African art history through conferences and exhibitions. The process adopted in securing these two stated positions was to use the frameworks of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and grounded theory as methods to elicit personal experiences through interviews with six women involved in the arts and who contributed to the apartheid struggle during the 1980s. The process used to structure the research and collect data, was an argumentative review of selective literature. Exhibition reviews, conference presentations and proceedings, as well as journal publications between 1982 and 1990. The review concentrated on ‘what’ and ‘how’ statements made on black artists, specifically black women, to understand the reasons for the neglecting of black women artists in the construction of South African art history in the 1980s. Culture as a weapon of the struggle constructed a substantial part of this research as the study considered aspects that constituted struggle culture during the 1980s and the role of black women within this culture. Important to the role of black women as cultural activists was the inclusion of the oppressive nature of class, gender and race as experienced by black women during apartheid to expose the complexities that impacted black women’s roles as activists. A discussion of conferences, and festivals (with accompanying exhibitions), and the cultural boycott against South Africa, the official adoption of culture as a weapon of the struggle, and the resolutions taken at these conferences is investigated. Also of importance was the inclusion of women as a point of discussion at these conferences: their poor position in society, and support for the inclusion of more women into the visual arts. In support of black women’s contribution to South African art history, a discussion on black women as cultural activists is included. This includes interviews with six activists who were part of the liberation struggle during the 1980s who shared their experiences. The study asserts that black artists, specifically black women artists, were prejudiced during the 1980s. This did not however serve as a deterrent to their contribution to a South African art history. Anti-apartheid movements such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the anti-apartheid movement (AABN), Amsterdam, played an integral role in creating alternative cultural platforms that supported a ‘people’s culture’, that enabled the use of culture as a ‘weapon of the struggle’ against apartheid.
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    Personalising the elements and principles of Graphic Design: an exploratory autoethnographic case study
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2021-09-29) Van der Walt, Doreen Esther; Maharajh, Reshma; Munro, Allan, Prof.
    The main aim of this study is to determine in what ways my graphic design practice is impacted by my socio-cultural identity. The intention is to explain and theorise the creative dynamics at play in Graphic Design as a discipline, so that I can use this to trace how the culture of graphic design, learned through training, influences the designs that I conceptualise and produce. From this exploration, critical self-analysis strategies and lines of inquiry for graphic designers, are established. To achieve this, triangulated investigations are undertaken in the context of a graphic designer as an idiosyncratic enculturated person, within the domain and field of graphic design. The attention falls on the dynamics of creativity and the cultivation thereof within cultural subject formation processes. Triangulated explorations of identity formation and identity within a culture in itself are undertaken, along with investigations into the culture of graphic design. Autoethnography (AE) is employed as practice-led research methodology and tool to extract data from autobiographic investigations that can be used to analyse and interpret the creative outcomes that were produced for the study. The cultural elements and principles of graphic design and the cultural elements and principles of an idiosyncratic enculturated graphic designer are compared, that result in answers to the main objective of the research conducted. Background and motivations introduce interpretation and contextualisation (personalisation) of AE as practice-led research methodology and method within graphic design as a cultural practice. The introduction is followed by creative practice that involves the generation of graphic design creative outcomes and the writing of a condensed autobiography. An in-depth literature review then provides a theoretical framework that sketches the discipline of practitioner within a field of practice, where after the practice is analysed, critically reflected upon and then AE interpreted, using the developed theoretical framework. From this, a detailed self-analysis follows. The process leads to the development of a new knowledge base and model (framework) that can be used in further research possibilities across other disciplines and cultural identity selections for self-reflection. This “strategic cultural preference facilitator model” consists of seven macro self-analytical identity markers, drawing on Appiah’s (2018) categories of Country, Creed, Colour, Gender, Class, and Culture (to which is added Professional Development). This is extended into ten micro sub-selfanalytical identity markers, namely: (1) Patriotism; (2) Paternalism; (3) Patriarchy and (4) Power; (5) the Pastoral; (6) Pretence; (7) Protection; (8) Punishment; (9) Privilege; and (10) Process, which are employed as socio-cultural identity lines of inquiry. The modelling and analysis processes documented in the dissertation could be extremely useful in most fields of human interaction, such as social work, psychology training, communication theory and practice, and in virtually all domains where the notion of self-critique as practice is prevalent (and necessary).
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    The use of graphic design to brand musicking: a case study
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2019-11-25) Cameron, Lindi; Maharajh, R.; Munro, A. J., Prof.
    The way in which people consume music has changed over recent times, and the relationship between music and graphic design, once dominated by the ubiquitous album cover, has evolved. Along with cover art, musicians make use of branding, marketing, and promotion for all aspects of their published image, music performances, and products. The graphic designer working with musicians has had to adapt artwork to new formats, and build entire branding systems, which are prevalent in pop music, but seemingly less overtly utilised in classical music, which the study concentrates on. Due to waning attendance at live classical music concerts and increased streaming activity, both in audio and video, an opportunity exists within classical music, the focus of this study, to develop new audiences and nurture existing ones. The many tangential points that exist for graphic designers to consider in the music industry can be described as musicking, which pertains to all activities, processes, products and people involved in music-making, listening, recording, performing, producing and so forth, as explained by Elliott (1995) and Small (1999). This theoretical framework provides a lens for the graphic designer to view the totality and elements of the music industry and reconsider opportunities for collaboration and involvement. The goal of this study was to explore how one can use the principles and dynamics of graphic design to engage with and capture the dynamics of musicking in a branding project. In order to accomplish that, the main aim was to triangulate graphic design theory, musicking theory, and insights gleaned about and from a case-study client, to culminate in a practical case study using graphic design to support or capture the client’s musicking, so that the potential for refocusing the branding onto the musicking approach could be explored and interrogated. The literature revealed challenges and opportunities within the context of global consumption of music classical music and graphic design. The case study provided insights into a classical musician that records, teaches and performs, and his needs in terms of a practical project. The practical design project emanating from the exploration of musicking as an approach served as a culmination of insights gleaned from literature, the musician himself, and action research that may be transferable to designers working within the field of music branding, or musicians wishing to brand themselves. Findings showed that graphic design elements have the potential to echo the character of music, can act as a bridge to the artist and his or her stature, play an identifying and/or expressive role, and experientially transport listeners into meaningful engagement with the music. Recently, activities such as streaming have stripped music somewhat of the special, tactile context of physical packaging, but honouring audience expectations in a similar way in performance through graphic communication and artwork (including programs, screens, video and installations) offers other channels for reference points, as do online platforms for branding and engagement, that serve an interactive, dynamic interchange between artist and listener, promoting loyalty and support. As both the classical music industry and graphic design fields experience new demands brought about by technological advances, consumer behaviour and the vast options available to those digitally connected, great opportunity lies in the field of branding musicking. Classical music could potentially benefit from adopting a more audience-centric approach and consideration of a multisensory experience, as audiences have become spoiled for choice not only in music options available, but within the broader entertainment arena clamouring for their attention in a visually branded and captivating world. It simply is not enough anymore to believe that “[i]f you build it, he will come” (from the film Field of Dreams, in Parr 2015:4) and meaningful engagement with listeners through various touch points, builds lasting relationships and supportive fan bases that can ultimately affect a musician’s livelihood.
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    Practice-led research, research-led practice and the dilemmas of ideation: an artistic inquiry
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2019-06) Kotze, Johannes Antonie; Hesse, L.; Munro, A., Prof.
    This study explores two artistic methods of enquiry in order to firstly better understand the lived experience and its contributions on the formation of sexuality and secondly, to explore how a method can dissect and interrogate a theoretical discourse such as Queer theory. The project takes a twofold approach. In the Practice-led Research (PLR) section, which constitutes the first part, I attempt to utilize PLR as a means of exploring the lived experience along with the artistic contributions PLR might have on the ideation process and identity construction I made use of journal writings as a means for data generation and artistic exploration. The second part of this study, utilizing Research-led Practice (RLP), I attempt to dissect and interrogate Queer theory and the ideation process involved with RLP. I analyse Queer theory as a starting point for my artistic productions and explore and compared the two approaches to one another with regards to the ideation process and the construction of the self. The main aim of this study was to use the strategies of PLR and RLP to interrogate the process of ideation generation. The study set out to achieve three objectives. Firstly, it compares and contrasts the research methods suggested by PLR and RLP, as both operate from different points of ideation. Secondly it compares and contrasts the type of insights (philosophical ideations) around homosexuality and Queer theory that arose from using the two different methods. Lastly it tentatively/speculatively assesses which of the two approaches worked for me both as an artist (the making/ideation process) and as a gay man (the personal philosophical ideation process). In chapter one I discuss the background to the study and where it is situated within academia. In chapter two I discuss the two methodologies namely PLR and RLP and how I made use of them in the artmaking process. In chapter three I discuss the findings of working with PLR. In chapter four I engage with the theoretical discourse of Queer theory. In chapter five I discuss RLP and how Queer theory influenced the artmaking process. In chapter six I conclude with the findings. This study allowed me to channel my lived experience as a valid method of inquiry along with PLR. I discovered that a gay identity is based on personal experiences and shaped by the body. My second body of work (RLP) allowed me to investigate and interrogate Queer theory and I found that a Queer identity sits within a continuum. Working with these two methodological approaches allowed me to expand and grow as both an artist and gay man. Tentatively I conclude that PLR worked effectively for me to achieve this growth, whereas the RLP approach I found somewhat confining. Yet, the RLP approach ‘forced’ me to reconsider my preconceptions and the conclusions I had reached using the PLR approach.
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    Commemorative portraiture: the artistic representation of black women in key positions from the Vaal Region
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2016-12-05) Matoba-Thibudi, Matshepo Priscilla; Peter, Judy, Prof.
    My practice-based research aimed to produce commemorative portraits of black women in key positions who are associated with the Vaal Region. The study was undertaken in order to contribute to the empowering, positive and growing body of creative research on the visual representation of black women in the visual art field. My concern lies in the dearth of artistic representation of black women, particularly from the Vaal Region and with the hegemonic Westernised portrayal of black women in a Visual Arts discipline dominated by prejudiced attitudes towards issues of race and gender. This was accomplished in two steps. Firstly, through the examination of black feminist theories which underpin my theoretical framework, and further challenge and draw attention to the omissions, invisibility, non-recognition and negative portrayal of black women. In addition selected techniques in artworks of Zanele Muholi, Karina Turok, Sue Williamson and Bongi Bengu have been appropriated to create my body of work. Secondly, I utilise commemorative portraiture to produce iconic portraits of advocate Faith Pansy Tlakula, Professor Ntombekayise Irene Moutlana, Professor Kholeka Constance Moloi, Avitha Sooful, Lerato Moloi, Terry Pheto, Lira, Palesa Mokubung and the late mama Adelaide Tambo which were exhibited in the bodutu gallery accompanied by a catalogue and a comment book. Both of these methods are qualitatively explored as creative strategies to portray and award agency positively to black women through Third World readings of gendered perspectives.
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    Customer satisfaction: a study of home-based fashion entrepreneurs and custom-made garments
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2022-06-03) Homela, Chevllin; Wilken, I.; Van Staden, H., Dr.
    Customer satisfaction has proven to be a major determinant on the success or failure of a business. Regrettably, fashion entrepreneurs are not meeting customer expectations because they have problems that are affecting the quality of their work. In order to promote customer satisfaction, fashion entrepreneurs require a master plan that is customer-based. Thus, they could implement customisation of garments to address customers’ concerns. It is, therefore, crucial for home-based fashion entrepreneurs to be aware of their customers’ needs and the factors that affect their satisfaction to boost its levels. Based on this background, it was found necessary to conduct a research study with the aim to determine factors that affect customer satisfaction of custom-made garments produced by home-based fashion entrepreneurs in the Emfuleni Local Municipality. A qualitative study, applying purposive and snowball sampling techniques, was conducted by means of one-on-one interviews. Data saturation guided the study and was reached after nineteen women were interviewed and two more interviews were done to enhance credibility. Analysis of data was conducted applying the six stages of Creswell’s approach of data analysis. During this process four themes emerged and were presented in line with their categories. The study findings revealed that some of the factors that largely influenced customer satisfaction were service quality, product quality, price, value and location. Garment fit and uniqueness were also found to be reasons why participants opted for custom-made garments. However, some of the participating women did not get the satisfaction they were seeking. Their satisfaction was negatively affected by garment quality, lack of communication, missing delivery deadlines and inaccessibility of the entrepreneur. The research outcome provides home-based fashion entrepreneurs with useful information to improve the levels of customer satisfaction.
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    Symbolism in sangoma cloth: a South African printmaking journey from the liminal to the liminoid
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2021-10) Rankou-Radebe, Mavis Lebohang; Makwela, Mashaole Jacob; Munro, Allan, Prof.
    The sangoma cloth is one of the objects which the Zulu people use to utilised in terms of culture and tradition and still is significant amongst African diviners. Initially, sangomas (traditional healers/diviners) dressed in animal skin, but because of the lack or deficiency of the animal skin, the cloth substituted the skin. The cloth carries a wealth of sacred symbolism and meanings which have been constructed by the sangoma community to best fit or describe the symbolic meanings and the potencies embedded in them. However, such cultural artefacts and symbols change over time, and new ones emerge through cultural practice. Therefore, the tension between conserving the religious and sacred, on the one hand, and the emerging, context and contingency based development on the other leads to problems of acceptability, authorized use and sanctified adaptation. This project explores the symbolism in the meaning and function of the sangoma sacred cloth which forms part of the sangoma dress code. It sets out three sets of interwoven binaries or tensions. Firstly, it explores the tensions between the liminal of ritual practices, and the liminoid (following Turner 1969), so that the second set of tensions, namely between the sacred and the profane (or secular or the commodified) can be explored. This leads to the third set of tensions, namely between Indigenous Knowledge Systems on the one hand and a potential Global Knowledge System on the other. In this way the tensions in the use of the sangoma cloth was explored, to attempt to determine a system that would assist in defining at what moment and following what dynamics the symbology would move from one side of the set of tensions to the other. The artist/researcher worked together with a focus group of sangomas who are part of a nongovernmental organization are based in Sedibeng region. This study’s research methodology is a Practice-led research approach within the framework of qualitative research methodology in the Fine Arts. The first method of data collection included one-on-one interviews from which the data was analysed and from which the existing designs could be reworked into new ones. Following this, a series of design and artmaking processes were followed, where five original cloth designs were taken through six different redesign iterations. The third method was a focus group method where the focus group participants (consisting of the original sangoma community, but with a ritual to request insight from the ancestors/amadlozi and therefore their contributions) was employed to view the five sets of redesigned cloths, to attempt to establish the moment when the Indigenous Knowledge System and the sacred of the sangoma cloth enters the secular domain which forms part of Global Knowledge Systems. The research project offers one system or methodology which is based on comparison as presented by the community who claim originality, in that the community itself decide when something needs to be protected by IKS and when it may be allowed to move into a public, shared, domain. The findings of this project were done by the owners of the cloth which resulted in them stating that: to claim IKS, one has to make an inquiry with the community who owns it; one cannot claim an entire design as IKS due to the composition or design having individual elements which have distinct meanings; The element of colour plays a dominant role within the sangoma community; and finally, for this project a clear and powerful system of humanity was set out by the sangomas/amadlozi that the sacredness of the cloth lies with the human who wears or uses it, and not with the cloth itself.
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    The wedding ritual: a photographer's journey to capturing practice
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2019-08-05) Bogle, Sean Leonard; De Klerk, Anneke; Munro, Allan, Prof.
    The study explores an alternative approach to Christian wedding photography that draws on the ritualistic narrative of the wedding as “social drama” (Turner.1974:54). Wedding photographers of the past have captured and illustrated the wedding story, with key moments, in a logical order reflecting a timeline showing the day’s events. The goal of the study is to investigates beyond the identified key moments and timeline of the Christian wedding so as to create awareness and develop understanding of the ritual and its phases and in turn, use this as a source to inspire, initiate and develop a method for the capture and production of the Christian wedding narrative in a new visual way. ‘Traditional’ Christian wedding photographers, brides-to-be and grooms-to-be are exposed and influenced by wedding photography styles of the past (which depict staged, static and controlled visual moments) or visual references from glossy magazines which place emphasis on branding, fashion-styled imagery and advertising, and lead to a romanticised and glamorised vision of possibility. The full Christian wedding narrative ritual is lost in visual representations that contain only a few glamorised and romanticised moments. This dissertation argues that the emotional, atmospheric and narrative moments of transformation of the couple on the day can be captured visually. The main research question of this study asks how one can use photography to capture that visual atmosphere and emotional underpinning of the various stages of the marriage ritual so that these images can be seen as trigger mechanisms for memories of the event. The study firstly engages with the Christian wedding as a ritual. Following Turner’s (Deflem 1991:3) conceptualisation of the four phases of a ritual (breach, crisis, liminal space and reintegration) the dissertation divides the wedding into these four phases. It also argues that the post-wedding events (the reception) follow the same trajectory, and present Turner’s (1974) liminoid dynamics. Working from several transformation narratives that use this approach, critical descriptive words that capture the narrative, the emotion and the atmosphere of the transformation are collected and clustered into categories. Following this, a tentative shooting schedule is proposed for each cluster/category. A method for the analysis of the photographs emerging from the testing of each cluster’s shooting schedule is determined, using Barrett’s subdivisions (Barrett 2006:65). The framework, composed of clusters, shooting schedule and analytical frame, is then tested on random appropriate photographs. The main body of work then applies the framework to 7 Christian weddings, and examples from each ritual phase are described and analysed to determine whether the photographs can be seen to capture the narrative events, the emotions and the atmosphere of each phase. The study argues that this is an effective alternative approach to Christian wedding photography practice. The study set out to develop an understanding of ritual and its various phases filled with emotion, atmosphere and life-changing practices. The wedding ritual identified followed a similar, if not the same path, of action of a life changing event and could be linked to the ritual and its four phases as per Turner’s discoveries and methodologies. Through literature of peoples’ life-changing experiences a databank of words describing the various phases of the ritual by means of emotion, atmosphere and meaning were identified and put into clusters of similar characteristics. These clusters, totalling seven, are representative of the four phases in the ritual that were used as a brief for the researcher/photographer. Barrett’s picture categories allowed one to decipher and develop a shooting schedule using these clusters with collective themes as briefs. The shooting schedule, which was speculative in design, was a method to illustrate the descriptor visually. Barrett’s methods supported the analysis and assessment of visuals captured in the field of the study of the Christian wedding. The visuals could be linked to descriptors and clusters which, in turn, could be linked to various phases in the ritual. The shooting schedule tested developed a visual capture framework (ritualised approach) which displayed images with a complete narrative filled with emotion and meaning, of the ritual in all four phases of the Christian wedding.
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    Fashion drawing skills training for unqualified fashion entrepreneurs in the Emfuleni Local Municipality: a needs assessment
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2019-08-21) Strydom, Le-nika; Coetzee, N., Dr.; van Staden, H., Dr.
    INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND The fashion trade is a global industry (Amankhwah, Badoe & Chichi 2014:144) that plays a major role in the socio-economic development of many countries (Sarpong, Howard & Osei-Ntiri 2011:98). A number of Asian countries, for example, have been known to thrive in the international textile and fashion trade, owing to their successful training programs in fashion and apparel design (Maiyo, Abong’o & Tuigon’g 2014:63). In South Africa (SA) fashion is also seen as an important industry, as it forms part of economic development programs (Dlodlo 2014:191) and aids in income generation for individuals, not only in major cities, but also in smaller towns and peri-urban areas. Thus, the statement can be made that the successful training of individuals through training programs (with regard to fashion-related skills) has a direct link to a thriving fashion industry and a direct impact on individuals, group and community income generation. Nonetheless, not all individuals within the fashion industry have acquired formal fashion training. Some may have obtained fashion-related skills (such as sewing, pattern making and fashion drawing) through family members, short courses, school or in-service work experience elsewhere. These skills, particularly fashion drawing and illustration (hereafter referred to as fashion drawing), are necessary visual communication tools with which the designer relays their ideas and designs to the client. Visual communication is a pictorial form of communication where visual symbols are incorporated in order to convey information (Liu 2015:41) and this process of visual communication enables both parties to be equally clear about the proposed design (Tatham & Seaman 2004:114; Calderin 2013:148). Thus, specifically in relation to the field of fashion, visual communication is used to communicate designs or ideas to individuals in a visual manner by making use of sketches, photographs, drawings, etc. However, in a previous study conducted in the Sedibeng District Municipality (SDM) (Van Wyk 2007:78), it was found that the most prominent skill that fashion entrepreneurs felt they needed, but lacked, is that of fashion drawing. Of the total sample population, 19% indicated that they do not possess fashion drawing skills. Although this is not a significantly high number, it is important to note that 66% of the mentioned study’s respondents had obtained qualifications from tertiary institutions (Van Wyk 2007:77), which would in all probability have included a fashion drawing curriculum. The lack of drawing skills could be problematic, as this lack relates to client satisfaction which, in turn, promotes the success of entrepreneurial endeavours (Burns & Bryant 2002:42). To address this, the current study was aimed at determining the level, nature and type of fashion drawing applied by fashion entrepreneurs with no formal fashion-related training (FEWNFFRT)1 within the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM). This ascertainment was completed in terms, specifically, of the following: the use of fashion sketches to visually communicate the design of the garment to the client; the challenges experienced by the fashion entrepreneurs when communicating an idea or design to a client; and the need for training in fashion drawing as a means of visual communication. A quantitative, non-experimental needs assessment was conducted among a group of FEWNFFRT within the ELM. It is important for the reader to note that this specific research study formed part of a larger study, in which the data was gathered in a joint manner with another researcher (whose study focussed on the business skills training needs for FEWNFFRT in the ELM). To clarify, data was collected and analysed together, but the interpretation and application of the data differed due to different research questions, focus and context. Therefore, while the same data was gathered and used in conjunction with another researcher, it should be noted that this study followed a unique angle. The reason for the joint data collection was dictated by the specific constraint of the study in terms of the specific inclusion criteria to which the sample population had to adhere. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were employed in order to gather data from respondents. This type of data collection tool was seen as the most appropriate for the collection of data for this study, as it was conducted in a verbal manner and allowed the interviewer to explain questions and instruction to the respondents in cases where questions were in any way unclear or the respondents were uncertain. This in turn ensured a higher response rate and enhanced the quality of the data gathered. Insight gained from this study aided in generating a new understanding of the fashion drawing skills training needs of fashion entrepreneurs in the ELM region, which may guide future research aimed at developing training programs, materials and interventions with regard to fashion drawing skills.
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    Exploring black women's diverse hairstyles through art: a case study
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2019-05) Radebe, Zanele Lucia; Thibudi, M. P.; Moloi, K. C., Prof.
    Problem statement This study investigates black women’s diverse hairstyles through art. The main research question is: How can black women’s diverse hairstyles be understood through art to appreciate the meaning attached to these hairstyles? The research question is informed by a black feminist theory. Objectives of the study Based on the research problem, the objectives of the study were first, to find out how black women’s diverse hairstyles could be understood through art to appreciate the meanings attached to these hairstyles. Secondly, to examine similarities and/or differences between how Lebohang Motaung (hereinafter referred to as Motaung) and Lorna Simpson (hereinafter referred to as Simpson) construct and express meanings of diverse hairstyles in their artworks. This was done by means of analysing the two artists’ artworks. Thirdly, to find out what or who influences Motaung’s choice of hairstyles, which was done by conducting an in-depth individual interview with Motaung. Fourthly, to find out what or who influences Simpson’s choice of hairstyles, which was done by reviewing the literature on Simpson. Fifthly, to explore how Motaung and Simpson interpret their physical appearance based on their hairstyles. Research design and methodology The empirical investigation focused on analysing black women’s diverse hairstyles by means of analysing artworks of Motaung (black South African female artist) and Simpson (black American female artist). This study contextualises black women’s artworks as visual responses to patriarchal, social subjugation and objectification of black women’s hair, by using black feminist epistemology through artistic production. Data collected through visual material were analysed using Barnet’s (2011:37-38) critical analysis of artefacts strategy. Barnet’s steps of critical analysis include description of the artefact, interpretation of the artefact, analysis of the artefact and personal report. The analysis of the artworks enabled the researcher to compare and contrast the artworks of the two selected participants. The researcher first analysed the black South African contemporary female artist, Motaung’s (b.1992), work as a visual form of resistance to masculine control of images of black women’s hairstyle representations and self-definition. The researcher believes that Motaung creates self-defined artworks that appreciate the beauty of black women’s hair and she demystifies the ambiguous meaning attached to black hairstyles. Secondly, Simpson’s (b.1960) artworks were analysed in the study to understand what or who influences her choice of hairstyles. The researcher found it appropriate, for her study, to focus on Simpson, because she is a prominent contemporary black American feminist artist, who explores the concept of black hairstyles, focusing on themes such as race, gender and identity formation. Furthermore, one in-depth, individual interview was conducted with Motaung. The analysis was based on black feminism that enabled the researcher to listen to Motaung’s views and be part of her portrayal of black women’s diverse hairstyles. The qualitative data collection and methodology were guided by ethical considerations of the Vaal University of Technology for undertaking research. Ethical procedures were followed regarding selected participants for both artwork analysis and the interview. Five themes emerged from this analysis, namely Motaung’s personal background, black hair politics, conceptual work, choice of medium and working process, art influencers and artwork clarification. Black women’s diverse hairstyles In contemporary times, black women’s hairstyle representations are highly politicised as black people strive to reclaim their identities. The changing meaning of what is good hair for black women is highly controversial; some black women consider natural hairstyles as good and authentic hair for black women, because they embrace the Afrocentric beauty standard that was degraded by whites since the colonial era. On the other hand, other black women are comfortable with altered hair that is viewed as a European beauty standard, because altered hair has become part of black women’s culture and identity. The literature review suggests that historically, narrow European-centric beauty standards have deemed black women’s natural features as unattractive and unprofessional, especially their textured, curly to kinky hair. These restrictive ideals have left black women in a compromised position, having to adhere to certain societal norms for the sake of upward mobility, whether that is getting ahead professionally or fitting into a myriad of social environments in which they can be accepted. Main findings From the literature review, the study found that there are controversial viewpoints regarding what is or is not suitable for black women in terms of their hairstyles. The controversy led to black women’s hairstyles being discussed constantly in binary opposition of good/ bad hair, natural/ unnatural, Afro-centric/ Eurocentric, authentic/ inauthentic, African/ Western, low/ high self-esteem, amongst others. The literature further indicates that there is a need to conduct a study that embraces diverse (both natural and unnatural) hairstyles to get rid of the politics, oppressions and binary oppositions placed on black women’s hairstyles. From the analysis of the two artists, Simpson’s works were found suitable for this study because her body of work links with that of Motaung’s, in terms of concept, style, theory, content and technique, despite the fact that these artists are located in different geographical contexts and settings. From the individual interview, the study found that Motaung was prompted by black hair politics, such as the politics of exclusion of black hairstyles, such as afros and braids in educational institutions and work places. Such politics inspired her to create artworks on black women’s diverse hairstyles. Motaung focused on natural hairstyles because she wanted black women to see what they can do with their natural hair. By using natural hairstyles, Motaung wanted to challenge the misconception that natural hair is not beautiful. The study also found that Motaung focused on unnatural hairstyles because there is bias against black women who wear synthetic hair. Motaung created artworks using synthetic hair to make a bold statement that synthetic hair is not fake hair but rather extra hair, which black women can use to self-express and self-define. Recommendations ● The study recommends that self-definition is a black feminist strategy that black women can use to self-insert and self-represent using diverse hairstyles. The act of insisting on black women’s self-definition validates black women’s power as human subjects, against structural patriarchal forces and beauty standards that are continuously set for black women. ● The study recommends that it is significant for black women to embrace diverse hairstyles, to get rid of the politics, oppressions and binary oppositions placed on black women’s hairstyles. ● From the artworks of Motaung and Simpson, the study recommends that it is significant for black female artists to produce artworks on diverse hairstyles to diminish oppressive structures that are placed on black women’s hairstyle representations.
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    Uses, challenges and training needs regarding business skills for fashion entrepreneurs in the Emfuleni Local Municipality
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2019) Nana, Keshni; Coetzee, N.; van Staden, H., Dr.
    Fashion entrepreneurs with no formal fashion-related education or training are hereafter referred to by the acronym FEWFFET (fashion entrepreneurs without formal fashion-related education or training). Entrepreneurship provides a feasible means of employment in a country where national unemployment rates are alarmingly high. To succeed, entrepreneurs require business knowledge and skill to operate profitable and sustainable businesses. However, entrepreneurs who were previously disadvantaged often possess only low levels of education, limited qualifications and training. This applies to survivalist fashion entrepreneurs in the Sedibeng District Municipality (SDM) who produce various items of apparel and clothing. Over a third of these entrepreneurs are not formally educated in business management and may not possess the adequate knowledge to operate their fashion business successfully. The research aim was to investigate the uses and challenges pertaining to business skills amongst FEWFFET to determine their business skills training needs. The sample population included 105 black fashion entrepreneurs, operating micro, survivalist enterprises within peri-urban, resource-poor communities in the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) of Sedibeng, Gauteng. A quantitative study using non-probability purposive sampling and snowball sampling was performed. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were conducted with respondents at fabric and haberdashery stores or within their home-business environments. The results indicated that respondents lacked business plan development skills and showed only moderate skills in finance and marketing. Respondents indicated business skills training needs for developing a business plan, conducting basic bookkeeping, determining correct product pricing, drafting quotations and invoices, developing a budget, conducting basic market research and advertising their products and services.
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    Power discourses, social development and editorial cartoons: a Botswanan case study.
    (2019-04-23) Sehuhula, Kesalopa; Mazhinye, Velaphi, Mr; Munro, Allan, Prof.
    Botswana is considered to be one of the better welfare states, though it has selective social development, and a close connection between the economic and political elite, offering potential power conflict. However freedom of expression for political and social critique are said to be under threat in Botswana. The research focuses on the period from 2008 to 2018 when the president of Botswana was Lieutenant General Sir Seretse Khama Ian Khama. It is also a period in which Botswana is seen (by the outside world) as a model for democracy in Africa and is characterised by many changes. Commentary on and critique of these changes often occur in editorial cartoons. The primary aim of the study was to construct a possible analytical model for editorial cartoons, and then to analyse and justify a selected number of editorial cartoons from Botswanan newspapers that make commentary on emerging issues around Botswanan social and economic development. The study develops an analytical system which is applied to interpret the choices made in the cartoons. To accomplish this, the study first provides an exposition of Scott’s theory of hidden transcripts (1990; Munro 1997). Specifically, the project presents Scott’s notions of onstage and offstage discourses, suggesting that the cartoon is a method of entering the concerns of the powerless into the onstage discourse where powerholder and powerless meet. Having set the power model of analysis, the dissertation demonstrates how power relations manifested in the history of social and economic development in Botswana. It then presents important approaches that are instrumental in the creation of editorial cartoons such as historical/contextual events, cartoon theory, metaphor, metonymy and satire. Using these theoretical frames the interrogates what analytical and creative dynamics can be used to inform a visual system, such as editorial cartoons, that comments on cotradictions between social and economic development claims/promises and actions, as they manifest in a particular country. The dissertation therefore presents Scott’s theory and related theories on power. It then outlines the dynamics of social and economic development as a construct, and the role of editorial cartoons as modes of critique. By triangulating these dynamics, the project then analyses selected Botswanan editorial cartoons using this triangulated model in search of meaning, and therefore, by extension, the efficacy of the model. The research found that, by using Scott’s concepts of onstage and offstage discourses to outline the power dimensions evident in social development issues in Botswana, editorial cartoons that engage with potential cotraditions in the political space can be effectively analysed, and therefore, extention be used effectively by editorial cartoonists.
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    The re-evaluation and rebranding of a public library from a Human Centred Design (HCD) point of view: a case study
    (2018-10) Heenop, Danelle; Chmela-Jones, Kate; Munro, Allan
    This study attempts to gain an understanding of the responsibilities and place of the designer within his/her social, political and environmental context, a topic which is continuously being scrutinised. Graphic designers, as practitioners and researchers, have shifted towards principles found within Human-Centred Design (HCD) and problem-solving processes, primarily concerned with the community’s need and the voice of the community members within the problem and thus integrating the user into the design practice and problem-solving process. This practice-based research project reflects upon the integration of human-centred graphic design processes, analysing the brand and wayfinding design currently incorporated in the Sasolburg Public Library (SPL) through the implementation of HCD thinking and problem-solving processes, Participatory Action Research (PAR) and the HCD IDEO toolkit. The researcher critically and experientially questions and reflects upon HCD thinking: its problem-solving strategies, strengths and the ultimate result of its integration into the project, as she aimed to codesign a functional brand identity and way-finding system that resonates with the identified community need as well as the SPL’s current space and place ‘description’, essentially attempting to create a public library that is human-centred at heart. The integrated co-designed problem-solving processes, guided by the HCD IDEO toolkit, were applied within a focus group setting, and comprised out of seven focus group sessions referred to as HCD team meetings. The focus group sessions consisted out of six HCD team meeting and one member checking contact session, supported by various research phases. The team meetings all considered theoretical constructs within multiple HCD research approaches, including the HCD analysis model, PAR research cycles and the action research model, constantly re-considering existing assumptions and structures within the unique context of a public library setting, but specifically the SPL. Each focus group team meeting, and its subsequent research tools, were tailor-made for the SPL context, considering principles of the co-design process along with the expertise and perceived knowledge structures of the HCD team consisting of the designer (as specialist within practice), the researcher (as specialist academic) and the librarians (as specialists within the SPL and the identified problem). Arising from this complex construction of tools, and subsequent data collected, various findings were made identifying the value and strengths as well as the feasibility of HCD thinking processes and their integration within a ‘real life context’. Summarised findings include: the implementation of co-design processes, PAR repetitive cycles, and the creation of design deliverables answering to identified needs; tensions identified within the co-design process, sparking the beginning of what seems to be a continuous and endless ‘power/authority/expertise struggle’ throughout the problem-solving process; an aesthetic adjustment (with specific reference to graphic design executions identified within traditional design practices) as a result of the co-design process and lastly, a break in HCD co-design thinking, which argues for implementing democratic thinking practice and processes within the production and design application process. Considering the findings on the HCD research process within the context of this research, suggestions towards possible design solutions and future potential applications (within a theoretical context) are made, allowing the research in its specific, public library context, to contribute to HCD theoretical thinking processes and their integration within graphic design research and practice.
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    Xhosa twins as a theme in conceptually motivated sculptural artworks
    (2015-03) Ngcai, Sonwabiso; Steele, J.; Du Preez, L.
    My Masters of Fine Arts degree consists of two components: the dissertation and practical works in the form of sculptures displayed as an exhibition. This body of work explores myth, belief and ritual practices relating to birth, life and death of twins in Xhosa culture. The purpose of the dissertation is to enrich and reflect on both the understanding of Xhosa ritual practices and that of my own work. The study will hopefully add significantly to the body of knowledge about Xhosa Indigenous Knowledge Systems as relating to twins. UNESCO emphasizes that Indigenous Knowledge Systems are part of immaterial cultural heritage such as languages, music and dance, festivities, rituals and traditional craftsmanship, and this cultural heritage is important for the identity of a society (Kaya & Masoga 2008:2). The choice of employing autoethnography in this qualitative study is derived from lived experience. Born as a twin in a rural Xhosa community, I experienced some unusual practices during my upbringing and thus a qualitative research method is used, involving auto-ethnography. This methodological approach aims at exploration of personal experience as a focus of investigation. The study also looks briefly at Yoruba twins as a means of finding similarities and commonalties with those of Xhosa culture.
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    Photo-elicitation in qualitative research
    (2006-11) Pompe van Meerdervoort, Tracy; Gaede, R. J.
    The aim of the study The aim of the study is to find an optimal research methodology that is both beneficial to qualitative researchers (regarding data quality and interviewee participation) and research participants (regarding enjoyment of the research process and means of expression). This takes the form of a comparison assessing the use of the visual method of photo-elicitation in qualitative interviews. Firstly, photo-elicitation interviews and standard qualitative interviews as two different methodologies are compared. In this study the research subjects are children, and as noted in Chapter 3, photo-elicitation is particularly applicable to young research subjects, as it tends to break down the communication barriers
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    Visual literacy and digital image manipulation in a photographic setting
    (2009-01) Laurie, Anneke; Gaede, J.
    The digital manipulation of images that are presented as photographs in the media raises issues of interpretation and the possible deception of viewers. The central research question of this study was whether training in the visual arts improves awareness of digital image manipulation of photographs. Secondary aims of the research were to investigate correlations between visual production literacy training and awareness of digital image manipulation of photographs as opposed to general visual literacy training. Secondary aims also include the !investigation of attitudes to the manipulation of photographs in relation to different viewing contexts and various levels of manipulation. The literature review provides background information and theoretical frameworks on the nature of the photographic message and how it is read primarily from a semiotic perspective. A further investigation was done into literature regarding the use of attitudes towards and ethical issues surrounding digital manipulation of photographs. In addition, a review of literature on visual literacy supports the argument that awareness of digital manipulation of photographs should and can be improved. For the empirical component of the study, a total of 145 students at the Vaal University of Technology with low, medium and high visual literacy training participated on a voluntary basis. Both qualitative and quantitative data was gathered through a digitally administered questionnaire on six visual images, each manipulated to a different degree. The results show that production literacy, especially specific training in digital image manipulation software, emerged as the main variable to be significantly (beta coefficient = 0.051; Pearson's r value = 0.436) associated with awareness of manipulation techniques as opposed to general visual literacy (standardised regression coefficieFlt = 0.436; Pearson's r = 0.051 ). Findings regarding attitudes to manipulation and the impact of viewing context show no difference between groups. Emanating from these results possibilities for further research were formulated.
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    Visual learning in a graphic design setting
    (2006-10) Chmela-Jones, Katarzyna Anna; Gaede, R. J.; Buys, C.
    An exploratory study was undertaken at three campuses of the Vaal University of Technology in response to weak examination results in one of the subjects of the graphic design curriculum. The aim of the study was to investigate visual learning strategies as used in conjunction with co-operative learning approaches in a higher education setting and to asses the appropriateness of these learning approaches in the discipline of graphic design at first-year level. The research questions that guided the study focused on how first-year graphic design learners experience (a) visual learning strategies, (b) a cooperative learning environment, as well as (c) the combination of these. The literature review component of the study covered (1) the fundamentals of visual learning, including the concepts of visual literacy, visual semiotics and visual culture; (2) graphic design education, especially in a South African context; and (3) principles of co~operative learning, including Avenant's requirements for successful group work. In the field work component of the study, multiple-choice questionnaires, open-ended questionnaires and focus group interviews were used as the main data collection methods. The results of the study did not indicate that first-year learners enrolled in the discipline of graphic design are likely to benefit from a combination of visual learning and co-operative learning strategies. Therefore, the implementation of a combination of the above-mentioned teaching strategies is not recommended in this setting.
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    The relationship between visual and verbal codes of visual rhetoric in a sequential art setting
    (2007-11) Van der Merwe, Ernest; Gaede, R. J.
    The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between visual and verbal codes of visual rhetoric in a sequential art setting. The literature investigation component of the study covered: (1) the notion of visual literacy; (2) the principles of visual rhetoric, and (3) trends in sequential art. The empirical component of the study involved the production of sequential art test material with an accompanying questionnaire in order to measure the comprehension of visual rhetoric in a sample of 197 undergraduate students at the Vaal University of Technology. The working hypotheses that guided the study were, firstly, that the comprehension of the visual code of the visual rhetoric used in a sequential art setting differs between (a) study participants that received visual training prior to the data collection and (b) study participants that received no visual training prior to the data collection, and secondly, that the comprehension of the visual code of the visual rhetoric used in a sequential art setting differs between (a) study participants that received test material in their home language and (b) study participants that did not receive the test material in their home language. Following a one-way ANOVA analysis of the questionnaire data, the first hypothesis indicated a significant statistical difference (p=O.OO) and was not rejected. The second hypothesis indicated no significant statistical difference (p=0.138) and was rejected. Based on the result obtained, possibilities for further research were motivated.
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    Critical skills of entry level animators in the contemporary South African computer animation industry
    (2012-11) Makwela, Mashaole Jacob; Gaede, R. A.; Ambala, T. A.
    This study investigates the views and opinions of computer animation practitioners about the critical skills required for entry level animators in computer-generated or digital animation design in South Africa. The literature review chapters of the study clarify the terms animation and creativity, examine the changes taking place in the animation discipline, and discuss the relative roles of technical and creative skills in computer animation productions, primarily based on Amabile’s componential model of creativity. The chapters that deal with the fieldwork describe the sequential mixed-methods design which was followed in this study to gather data in two phases, namely a survey with questionnaires (n = 16), and interviews (n = 7) at thirteen South African companies, six in Johannesburg and seven in Cape Town. The main aim of the first phase was to determine (a) which skills are considered more important for entry level animators, (b) whether technical skills or creative skills are considered more important in the selection process for new animators, and (c) whether institutions teaching computer animation should focus on technical skills or creative skills. The main aim of the second phase was to augment the questionnaire results with more detailed explanations. The results of the first phase indicate that according to the respondents computer animation education should focus primarily on creative skills. The results of the second phase confirm that creative skills are regarded as more important, and also elaborate on a number of factors, including job level, the nature of the company, and company size, which the respondents considered important during the first phase of data collection. The information gathered in the course of this study can be used directly by entry level practitioners, experienced animators and design students. The results can also guide the development of the South African animation industry and the revision of multimedia curricula.
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    Small fashion business owners and their businesses in the Vaal region
    (2013-07-22) Van Wyk, Arrie Willem; Van Aardt, A. M.
    Introduction: Entrepreneurial fashion businesses are very important due to the employment, income, products and services they provide. The South African government has identified small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to address the economic challenges in this country. Entrepreneurship development is a means to economic development, which implies developing an entrepreneurial population. Aim: To acquire an integrated perspective on fashion entrepreneurs, their businesses and the technological environment in which they function, in order to understand the maintaining of a successful fashion business and to offer recommendations for the training and development of potential and existing fashion entrepreneurs. Method: A convenience sample of 100 fashion entrepreneurs in the Vaal Region was selected. A self-administered, structured questionnaire was compiled and used to gather the information. Section A focused on demographic background information, section B investigated entrepreneurial attributes, section C investigated the start-up and functioning of the business and section D concentrated on the technological environment. The instrument was tested for validity and reliability. Results: There were more female than male respondents, which corresponds with recent global statistics. The age distribution of these fashion entrepreneurs was quite balanced between younger, middle and older groups. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents were married, mostly with children aged older than 19 years. The majority of these fashion entrepreneurs had a tertiary qualification, but only a fifth had formal business training while negligibly few had formal training in business management or other business training. Six desirable entrepreneurial attributes were investigated and ranked in the following order: Leadership; Commitment and determination; Motivation to excel; Creativity, self-reliance and ability to adapt; Customer service; Tolerance of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty. All the attributes except the last one were scored quite high. They possessed most required entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, but lacked training in specific areas. Most ran their businesses as a sole career, employing one to four people and relied on the word-of-mouth advertising method. They used computers and information technology to a moderate extent and industrial equipment to a low extent.