Photographer Nancy Mteki and metal sculptor Israel Israel joined artists from other African countries for the exhibition running from May 22 to June 27. Each artist entered one piece which they felt was in line with the theme of the exhibition.
Mteki’s entry is a piece titled Lost and Found. She said the image depicted how African children shunned manufactured toys because they were used to using improvised ones.
“I was telling my story as an African. The exhibition gave me a chance as a self-taught artist to interact with other artists and academics and learn how they view art,” Mteki said.
Israel’s sculpture is titled Unto us a Child was Born Unto us a Child was Given which tackles Africa’s dependency syndrome. “The piece represents a system that I feel was created by the West so that Africans remain beggars,” said Israel who is based in Bulawayo.
According to the curator’s statement released by the gallery the exhibition explores contemporary African dialogue as an agent of change.
“This is the third year of this project which aims to stimulate conversations within Africa and internationally to facilitate a change of perceptions about the continent through its contemporary art,” the statement said.
The gallery said the exhibition provided a platform for Africa’s debates and highlighted “who we are as Africans”.
“Attention is focused on our contemporary lives which are informed by our histories, cultures and contemporary experiences contributing towards a dynamic existence across the African continent. The exhibition initiates dialogue amongst the South African and SADC regions in its focus on Africa,” the statement continued.
However the curator acknowledged that an African dialogue is complex as Africa is in a constant state of flux.
“There are critical issues which need to be visually voiced and verbally discussed, issues which create the momentum of Africa. Within these parameters this exhibition seeks to construct an African identity reflecting and celebrating our diversity thus creating an image archive of the Continent”.Post published in: Arts