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Sophia Gray Lectures & Exhibitions

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The School of Architecture at the University of the Free State started the annual Sophia Gray Lectures and Exhibitions in 1989. It was initiated and conceptualized by Prof. Paul KOTZE. The aims of this series are to highlight the contribution that architects and architecture make to society and were, initially at least, intended to create positive role models for the student body of the School of Architecture.

It was named after the first professionally active architect in Bloemfontein, namely Sophia GRAY. It is generally agreed that she was responsible for the design of the initial chapel that eventually evolved into the Anglican Cathedral of St Andrew and St Michael in St George’s Street in the city.

Although not formally trained as an architect, Sophia GRAY is considered to be South Africa’s first female architect. She was the wife of the first Anglican Bishop of Cape Town, Robert Gray. They arrived in South Africa in 1848. Sophia GRAY designed and built approximately 58 churches during the 25 years in which they established the Anglican Church in the country.

The lecture and exhibition series is seen as a way to:

  • Honour the person or a group of people. As criteria for invitation, the staff of the School of Architecture must be convinced that the person or group has made a fundamental contribution to the praxis of architecture, the theoretical debate within the profession or to professional matters. Those invited should have a sense of, and take responsibility for, the effects that their creations have on the well-being, life and advancement/development of the general community. The invitee (s) must have a connection with the Southern African region. The process of selection is one of proposal, debate and consensus.
  • Draw attention to the architectural heritage of the City of Bloemfontein. The city has a rich architectural tradition, and attention is drawn to it by choice venue.
  • Serve the community. The lectures and exhibitions are seen as one of the many ways in which the University of the Free State, and the School of Architecture engage in and assist the community.
  • Engage in the regional and international architectural debate. By its nature, the Lectures and Exhibitions serve as a window into the thoughts of the selected contributors and as a means to gather basic information regarding their work.

Previous Sophia Gray Laureates

The topics of their lectures and the venues are as follows (the city in which the invitee resided in at the time of invitation is indicated in brackets);

1989 Ms. Mira FASSLER KAMSTRA (Architect, Johannesburg)
MIMICRY and CAMOUFLAGE (INSPIRATION and INTERPRETATION OF A SOUTHERN AFRICAN ARCHITECTURE)
Lecture and Exhibition: Old Presidency, Pres. Band Street.
Exhibition repeated, as part of a group exhibition with UYTENBOGAARDT and FAGAN, at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg and as a solo exhibition at the South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town. School of Architecture at Pretoria University in the Ou Lettere Building and in Windhoek under the auspices of the Namibian Institute of Architects.
Lecture published as: Fassler Kamstra, M. 1990. Mimicry and camouflage Architecture SA July/August 1990: 36-40
1990 Prof. Roelof S UYTENBOGAARDT (†) (Architect & Urban Designer and Professor, University of Cape Town)
TIMELESS IN ARCHITECTURE
Lecture and Exhibition: Queen’s Fort, Church Street.
Exhibition repeated, as part of a group exhibition with FASSLER KAMSTRA and FAGAN, at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg and as a solo exhibition at the South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town, the Port Elizabeth Art Gallery, at the Old Town House (Greenmarket Square, CT), Windhoek under the auspices of the Namibian Institute of Architects and the Johannes Stegmann Gallery, UFS.
1991 Dr. Gawie FAGAN (Architect, Cape Town)
ARCHITECT AND COMMUNITY
Lecture and Exhibition: Abraham Fischer Residence and School of Architecture UFS.
Exhibition repeated, as part of a group exhibition with FASSLER KAMSTRA and UYTENBOGAARDT, at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg and as a solo exhibition at the South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town and the Art Gallery of the University of Stellenbosch.
1992 Mr. Wilhelm O MEYER (†) (Architect, Johannesburg)
THE THREE PASTS TO OUR PRESENT
Lecture and Exhibition: UFS Boyden Observatory, Maselspoort.
1993 Dr. Glen GALLAGHER (†) (Architect, Johannesburg)
THE EXCLUSION OF CONCLUSION IN ARCHITECTURE
Lecture and Exhibition: Fourth Raadzaal, Pres. Brand Street.
Lecture and Exhibition was repeated at the Sandton Library.
Exhibition material formed the base of another exhibition at the School of Architecture, University of Pretoria.
1994 Mr. Jack BARNETT (†) (Architect, Cape Town)
BUILDING THE BEST – THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA'S ESSENTIAL MISSION
Lecture and Exhibition: Corobrik brick factory.
1995 Mr. Hannes MEIRING (†) (Architect, Pretoria)
ARCHITECTURE – THE GREAT ADVENTURE
Lecture and Exhibition: National Museum, Aliwal Street.
1996 Prof. Amancio GUEDES (Architect, Lisbon and Emeritus Professor, University of the Witwatersrand)
SEVEN MANIFESTOES
Lecture and Exhibition:Bloemfontein City Hall, President Brand Street.
Lecture repeated at the School of Architecture & Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand.
1997 Dr. Revel FOX (†) (Architect, Cape Town)
Reflections on the Making of Space
Lecture: Ramblers Club, Aliwal Street
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
The exhibition was repeated as a solo exhibition at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town.
Exhibition Catalogue published as: Fox, J. Ed. 1998. REVEL FOX: REFLECTIONS ON THE MAKING OF SPACE. Cape Town [s.n.].
1998 Prof. Adéle Naudé SANTOS (Architect & Urban Designer and Professor, University of California [Berkeley], San Francisco)
Narrative Maps: Concepts and Creations
Lecture: Cathedral of St Andrew and St Michael, St Georges Street.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
The lecture was repeated at the School of Architecture & Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand and at the School of Architecture of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The exhibition was repeated at the School of Architecture at Pretoria University.
1999 Dr. Jack DIAMOND (Architect, Toronto)
Practicing Scales
Lecture: Reunion Hall, Grey College.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition repeated at the School of Architecture, University of Pretoria.
2000 Prof. Stanley SAITOWITZ (Architect and Professor, University of California [Berkeley], San Francisco)
EXPANDED ARCHITECTURE
Lecture: SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview Street, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition repeated at the Pretoria Art Museum.
Lecture repeated at the School of Architecture & Planning of the University of the Witwatersrand.
2001 Dr. Hentie LOUW (Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle upon Tyne)
Architecture and craft: a working relationship?
Lecture: SA Armour Museum, Tempe.
Lecture published as: Louw, H. 2002. Architecture & Craft: a Working Relationship? Acta Varia Architecturae 2002:2 University of the Free State.
2002 Mr. Louis KAROL (Architect, Cape Town)
50 Years in the City
Lecture: SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview Street
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
2003 Mr. Peter BUCHANAN (Architect & Author, London)
Architecture of the Emergent Epoch
Lecture: SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview Street, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition repeated at the Fassler Gallery, School of Architecture & Planning, University of the Witwatersrand and at the School of Architecture, University of Pretoria.
Prior to being exhibited in Bloemfontein the exhibition material formed part of the 'Ten Shades of Green' Exhibition in New York. The exhibition material formed part of the basis for the book: Buchanan, P. 2005. Ten Shades of Green. New York: Architectural League of New York.
2004 Mr. Paul MIKULA (Architect, Durban)
A Great big box called ARCHITECTURE
Lecture: Recreation Hall of the Free State Psychiatric Complex.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition repeated at the School of Architecture & Planning, University of the Witwatersrand.
2005 Prof. Bannie BRITZ (Architect & Urban Designer and Emeritus Professor, University of the Free State)
Stories…Architecture…Life
Lecture: Centenary Complex, University of the Free State.
Exhibtion: Centenary Complex and Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Harry Smith Street.
Lecture published as: Britz, B. 2009. FRONT PIECE: Sophia Gray memorial lecture: 2005 Edited version Journal of the SA Institute of Architects Special Issue: July/August 2009: 07-14
2006 OMMDesignworkshop, (Architects, Durban)
Ms. Janina MASOJADA & Mr. Andrew MAKIN
BORROWING SPACE AND TIME
Lecture: The Reservoir, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Lecture published as: omm design workshop. 2007. BORROWING SPACE AND TIME: CONTRIBUTING TO THE RECONCEPTION OF MODERN AFRICAN SPACE Journal of the SA Institute January/February 2007: 14-21. As well as: Lipman, A. 2007. AN INVITATION TO DEBATE Journal of the SA Institute January/February 2007: 25-26
2007 Prof. Jo NOERO (Archtitect and Professor, University of Cape Town)
the expedient and the ethical, the everyday and the extraordinary
SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview Street, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition: Bloemfontein Art Museum.
Exhibition repeated, as a solo exhibition at the South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town.
Lecture published as: Noero, J. 2007. The Expedient and the Ethical, the Everyday and the Extraordinary. Journal of the SA Institute of Architects. Nov./Dec. 2007:8-35.
2008 VAN DER MERWE MISZEWSKI (Architects, Cape Town)
Ms. Anya VAN DER MERWE MISZEWSKI & Mr. Macio MISZEWSKI
van der merwe miszewski projects
SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview Street, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Lecture published as: Van der Merwe, A. 2008. The van der Merwe Miszewski Partnership. Journal of the SA Institute of Architects. Nov./Dec. 2008:10-15. As well as: Cooke, J. 2008. Notes of the van der Merwe Miszewski Method. Journal of the SA Institute of Architects. Nov./Dec. 2008: 18-23. As well as: van der Merwe Miszewski Architects, 2008. Highveld House. Journal of the SA Institute of Architects. Nov./Dec. 2008:26-29.
2009 Prof. Walter PETERS (Architect and Emeritus Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban)
More Ways of being an Architect
Lecture: SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview Street, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
Exhibition repeated as a solo exhibition at the Natal Association of Arts, Durban.
Lecture published as: Peters, W. 2009. More ways of being an Architect. Journal of the SA Institute of Architects. Nov./Dec. 2009:48-57
2010 Dr. Jaco WASSERFALL (Architect, Windhoek.)
NO GRAFFITI, PLEASE! STULTORUM CALAMI CARBONES MOENIA CHARAE
Lecture: SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview Street
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Harry Smith Street
2011 Peter RICH (Architect, Johannesburg.)
LEARNT IN TRANSLATION
Lecture: Fairview Conference Centre (formerly SEDCOM Auditorium), Fairview Street
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Harry Smith Street
2012 Stan FIELD (Architect, California.)
2013 Kate OTTEN (Architect, Johannesburg.)
Architecture for Every Day
Lecture: Callie Human Hall, UFS Campus
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Harry Smith Street
2014 PN MASHABANE and J ROSE
Landscape, History and Context
2015 Anton ROODT
Big dreams in a small city, places of memory - spaces of imagination
Lecture: The Civic, Markgraaff Street
Exhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Harry Smith Street

Notes:

  1. The original drawings and diaries of Sophia GRAY and her husband, Bishop Robert Gray, are kept at the 'Historical Papers' section of the William Cullen Library of the University of the Witwatersrand.
  2. The institutional affiliations and cities where the invitees lived in as indicated in the list were correct at the time of them presenting the lecture and exhibition. These details have changed for some in the mean time.
  3. For more information references can be made to the following publications:
    Gutsche, T. 1970. The Bishop’s Lady. Cape Town: Timmins.
    Kotze, CP 1998. In Memory of Sophia Gray [Part 1] Journal of the South African Institute of Architects. September:35-42.
    Kotze, CP, 1998. In Memory of Sophia Gray [Part 2] Journal of the South African Institute of Architects. October:43-47.
    Kotze, CP. 2002. The Sophia Gray Memorial Lectures and Exhibitions. Acta Structilia Vol. 8. No. 1 p71-78.
    Martin, D. 2002. The Churches of Bishop Robert Gray & Mrs. Sophia Gray: an historical and architectural review. Unpublished PhD Thesis (Historical Studies) University of Cape Town.
    Martin, D. 2005. The Bishop’s Churches. Cape Town: Struik Publishers.

Prof. Paul KOTZE
School of Architecture & Planning, University of the Witwatersrand.

Mr. Kobus DU PREEZ
Department of Architecture, University of the Free State.

With assistance from: Ms. Rene du Plessis, Librarian and Research Assistant, UFS.



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