The CAP Institute for Contemporary Art Practice

Artist as Shaman

Artist Workshop and Exhibition

With Professor Elfriede Dreyer

Workshop 31 January – 4 February 2022

Exhibition 5 - 19 February 2022

Venue: Unit  37, Barbecue Bend Corporate Campus, Kyalami, Midrand

Art and Collect Gallery

Places are limited to 20 on a first-come-first-served basis.

RSVP here or book here or contact before or on 20 January.

Ernesto Neto
Rebecca Horn, Pencil Mask
Joseph Beuys shamanic performance
Park Chan-Keong
Melanie Bonajo
Rebecca Horn
Henry Moore
CAP workshop Knysna
Dineo Bopape

About Elfriede Dreyer

Click to download the brochure

Why is shamanic practice becoming relevant again in contemporary art?

In a time of crisis, people look for solutions to transcend their current state of being. They try to find alternatives to and transcendence from what they are experiencing at that particular point in time. To some extent, covid has brought this condition on and induced a search for vision, for a path forward and for ways and means to reimagine the world.

The roles of the shaman and the artist have always been tied to vision and a position of being between two worlds: that of the visible and the invisible. The artist makes the invisible visible, and the shaman aims to transcend the visible and enter into another realm. Shamanism has roots outside of the West, in the cultures of indigenous peoples across the world, extending through Siberia, Australia, and Africa, as well as the Americas and pre-modern Europe. But shamanism itself is not a formalised system of beliefs or an ideology. 

In the modern world, the artist has largely taken over the role of the shaman. For our purposes in this workshop, we are interested in the artist as shaman in three roles: as endowed with special sight, insight and power; as transformer; and as healer.


Keywords for this workshop: Earth consciousness | Ritualistic and meaningful objects | Rapture, transcendence | Yearning for ‘another‘ world | Transcendental experience | Healing | Transformation | Movement | Cosmogram | Bodygram | Masks | Collectivity


The Workshop

The workshop aims to rekindle creativity in thinking and doing, and present you with alternative ideas for your artmaking.

There will be focus on each participant’s individual art production, techniques and thought processes. Each participant will produce at least one new artwork during the workshop.

Advanced experimental thinking and creativity will be cultivated and developed. You will be encouraged to move out of your comfort zone – be prepared to become a shaman!

Preparation and Materials

  1. Choose 3 objects that speak to you about your own Identity and history. With your phone or iPad take several photos of the objects in different conditions, settings and light. Bring your device with the photos to the workshop. You can bring those objects to the workshop if you wish and it is logistically possible.

  2. Collect a bag of scrap materials – anything – and make a mask, at least the size of a human face. This mask should speak to some situation you yourself or somebody else is experiencing at the moment.

  3. With your phone or iPad take several photos of a place or space that needs attention, is dilapidated, or is being renovated.

  4. Bring a large notebook with paper sheets, as well as ink, brush and small container for water.

  5. For the final works you can work in any medium:

    1. For painting bring two or three canvases and acrylic or oil paint, container for water, rags, turpentine (if working in oil) and anything to paint with EXCEPT brushes. No brushes allowed. If you want to paint with your hands bring plastic gloves.

    2. For drawing bring paper and a selection of dry media such as charcoal, soft pencils (5B-8B or softer), and pastels.

    3. For mixed media bring any choice of media you would like to work in, plus any surface such as paper/wood/canvas/Perspex. Bring a glue gun with.

    4. For sculpture bring materials for an assemblage, meaning you will combine and structure found or other materials. Bring materials to build an armature (structure to attach the materials to) and a glue gun. It could be a suspended (hanging) , wall or standing sculpture.

    5. For digital work, bring your laptop loaded with Photoshop or Photoscape and charger cable. You will have to print your work for the exhibition.


Every day from 09h00 to 16h00. Settling in from 08h30.

Bring own eats and drinks, although there are restaurants and a Pick n Pay around the corner.



The first day of the workshop will be introductory and set the tone for the workshop.



Exploration and experimentation



Starting the final artwork(s)



Finalisation of work




Talk on presentation of artwork to a gallery.

Setting up the exhibition



Saturday 5 February 2022 at 11 am – 1 pm

Until 19 February 2022



R3000-00       Add to Cart    

There are no exhibition costs except for bringing a bottle of wine or juice and providing your own label for the work. All work will be for sale with 25% commission added.

Payment to:

Elfriede Dreyer

FNB current account


Branch code 259745

Additional notes

Covid-19: Please bring your own masks and hand sanitiser, although the Gallery has sanitising arrangements in place.

The exhibition will be on show until 19 February 2022 after which unsold works could be collected. Keep in mind that Gallery commission of 25% will be added to the prices of the works.