Lizamore celebrates the new year with three mentorship exhibitions; Johannes Stegmann, Thami Mnyele & Project Space mentorships - February 2019
Free (State) by Nhlanhla Nhlapo
In this, his first Solo exhibition at the Lizamore and Associates Gallery, Nhlapo plays with the Politics of the ‘Self’- An exploration of his personal History in an African and Global context. The Artist draws inspiration from 17th Century Dutch Landscape paintings, Portraits and photographs from his family photo albums and the immediate surroundings of his hometown Frankfurt in the Free State.
The imagery deals with concepts of Nostalgia, Community, Survival and Decolonization. Portrait, Interior, exterior and Landscape juxtapose to underline the fugitive nature of Time. The skilled and compassionate portrayal of the people and places he draw and paints, in diffused and subtle color harmonies, create a mood of Introspection, but also confronts the viewer with serious issues around Land expropriation and the Trauma and Transformation of a community in Post-Apartheid South Africa.
Through many personal and day to day conflicts growing up in rural Free State and later moving to Gauteng and City Life, Nhlapo endeavors to create a personal narrative with this body of work, a symbolic longing to re-connect to the Land of his Ancestors; His reference to the Dutch Baroque Interior paintings for instance reflect firsthand experience of both his late grandmother and mother being Domestic workers and the hardship he experienced with their absence in his formative years during Apartheid . Whilst it might seem to be a strange choice to be working in European Classical style, the artist deliberately do so and attempt to decolonize one’s mindset through his practice.
Serithi - The Aura of a Black Woman by manyatsa monyamane
When a confident black woman struts through a space, her presence is announced by
the energy she exudes. Her gait, attire and sheer elegance precede her, forming
unshakable, roaring opinions in the minds of those looking on. Such women would have
a certain phrase associated with their characters. In the African culture you may hear
someone utter “Mme o, ona le serithi” which loosely translates to “This woman has a
powerful aura”. She jolts you from your sense of comfort and compels you to lean
forward and take notice of her, for she exists.
This project sees to emphasize the erasure of black bodies, specifically black women’s
bodies in modern history. That we are not in an age where women of colour are able to
start sculpting their own narratives, voices and images; that women of colour have
never been encouraged to embrace their beings as freely as should have been the
case; and that as a result a hypersexual society discourages the full expression of
womanhood, particularly in the case of women of colour.
Each woman who contributes to this series brings forth a different personality whilst
maintaining a true sense of self. This series embraces the multiplicity of characteristics
that make each woman intensely unique in terms of her aptitude to embrace everything
that comes with being a black woman.
Where does the pain go, when it goes away? by Alka Dass
Dass’s work looks at personal reflection of her own history, no matter the subject. She aims to translate her own desires or anxieties as a South African Indian and the cultural ideals and properties attached to it.
Her work is a visual-psychological interpretation of women of colour. Viewing her own experiences whilst understanding that race and gender effect the artistic process, the rethinking of the culture and psychological spaces that are traditionally assigned to women of colour is a part of her visual investigation. She draws inspiration from Hindu mythology and ritual alongside reconfigured experiences from her childhood into an imaginative realm.
Adopting found objects which are commonly found in an Indian home and are attached to the female identity, is a medium she commonly uses, transforming these into a personal visual language.