Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: My Art is My Voice

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My Art is My Voice

ART EXHIBITION AT UPSTAIRS@BAMBOO, MELVILLE, JOHANNESBURG

 

Friday, 25 March – Sunday, 3 April 2011

 

Opening reception: Saturday, 26 March 2011, at 2:00 pm.

“Good art is what elevates us, compels us to see in it ourselves as we were, are and hope to be… The artist’s revolution is an on-going process, not an ad hoc historical event. He is engaged in a revolution of mind and feeling. He is a teacher, interpreter, a historian of feeling.”

Es’kia Mphahlele, 1988

We are pleased to announce an exciting exhibition of affordable original prints, drawings, paintings and mixed media works by a selection of extraordinary black artists.

The artists included in this exhibition use their art to voice how they feel about their heritage, their lives, and what goes on around them. Some reflect on their personal journeys – to their roots and to their future – or explore elements of their identities as African women and men. Some address the concept of shared humanity – in terms of the individual, family, community or ethnicity. Others draw on their experience growing up in rural areas or peri-urban townships, or they interpret how the city of Johannesburg and daily circumstances affect people’s lives – theirs and others. Time, space and memory, dreams and reality all play a part in their art.

Many of these artists celebrate resilience, strength, making hard choices, and meeting challenges; others deal with pain, doubt and hardship. For some, most important is to acknowledge where they come from in order to move forward. They tell stories, comment on social issues, or simply create beautiful, moving images.

The approximately 40 artists whose artwork will be shown include, among others:

From the 1970s to the 1990s: Eli Kobeli, David Koloane, Frank Ledimo, Dumisani Mabaso, Osiah Masekoameng, Jones Mathebula, Jacob Molefe, Thabo Mothudi, Godrey Ndaba, Hugh Nolutshungu, Winston Saoli, and Peter Sibeko.

From the 21st century: Phumzile Buthelezi, Mbali Dlamini, Charles Kholobeng, Hloniphile Khuzwayo, Leshoka Legate, Phillip Mabote, Chepape Makgato, Nelson Makamo, Ramarutha Makoba, Abe Mathabe, Mfundo Mkhize, Charles Morwape, Elliot Mthimkhulu, Nathi Ndlandla, Lucas Nkgweng, Bambo Sibiya, Pontso Sikhosana, John Taouss, Molefe Thwala, and others.

The artists use various mediums including printmaking (etching, linocut, screen printing, monotype, etc.), painting with oils and watercolours, drawing with charcoal and pastels, or creating images with collage, embroidery and embossing. The artworks will be priced between R750 and R15 000, with the majority available for under R5 000.

All of these talented artists are passionate about their art and are working extremely hard to forge and maintain their careers as professional artists. Some have already achieved considerable success. Many have overcome incredible hurdles. A few have tragically not lived to fulfill their potential. All of them merit the support of art lovers and collectors.

The profit from this exhibition will support future exhibitions of young emerging black artists.

If you would like more information about this exhibition, please contact Anne Gordon, at ajgordon@iburst.co.za.

The gallery space, Upstairs@Bamboo, is located at the Bamboo Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesburg. Upstairs@Bamboo is open weekdays from 10h00 to 17h00, Saturday from 09h00 to 16h00, and Sundays from 10h00 to 14h00. See www.bamboo-online.co.za for directions to the venue.

_____________________________

Wesley Pepper

Artist Statement

This artwork is my reaction to the front cover of the City Press, 11 April 2010. One of the sub-headings on the cover read:

“Black rage, white rage: a nation divided”

Since that famous rugby game in 1995, South Africa as a people came together and was united! Ubuntu – let’s heal the nation, forgive each other and move on. A new government was in power, ‘black people’ were free to be black and proud; we moved out of the townships and into the suburbs, got better jobs, better education; we forgave each other and started building a new South Africa for all. The world’s attention was focused on South Africa. On the sporting front, our national teams won world cups and Olympic gold medals. Our arts and culture won Grammy awards, Oscars and became Hollywood blockbusters. On the surface, everything looked first class. But, as history will tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.

My artwork uncovers that underbelly of contemporary South African culture. Racism was swept under the carpet 17 years ago and since then manifested into a repulsive sub-culture that no one wants to address publicly. We sit in front of out TVs, Facebook and Mixit, and feed off government propaganda and live off fear.

The artwork has grey and dramatic undertones and background – this represents the ‘grey areas’ that people normally dismiss. Each character represents a different social class, race group, and stereotype. I blocked out their eyes to hide who they truly are and what they are really thinking. The last character is wearing a mask and has a distorted face – he represents the South African who sees through all this rhetoric and is trying to shape his/her surrounds to his/her own rhythm. [In this show, only four of the total eight artworks in this series (see below) are on display. For further information, contact the Curator or the artist.]

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About Author

Wesley Pepper

Fine Artist Social Entrepreneur - I'm the piano player, composing my life's soundtrack. Mondego. If u want 2 put the world right, start with your self.. live your passion !!!!! `If you if you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail!!` words by My Late great Grand Father

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