Looking FOR ward: Our Lives IN 2034

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I have had a hectic 3 weeks! I was fortunate enough to be asked to submit a work for consideration for an exhibition to be held at the Durban Art Gallery. As part of the exhibition brief we were required to attend a two day seminar where specialists in the fields of physics, mathematics, environmentalism and astronomy, to name a few, visualized the future.

This was the brief we received:

In this, the 20th year of democracy in South Africa, the Durban Art Gallery and artSPACE durban are cooperating in an exhibition titled: “Looking Forward: Our Lives in 2034”.

The exhibition is under the curatorship of Jenny Stretton and Karen Bradtke and brings together a group selected artists from KwaZulu-Natal in an exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery from August 5 to September 14. 

Each artist presents one artwork, which is a culmination of individual research and the participation in a two-day seminar held at artSPACE durban on July 4 and July 5 and chaired by Tanja Hichert, senior researcher form the Institute for Futures Research, University of Stellenbosch and Director of the South African Node of the Millennium Project. 

This exhibition runs concurrently with an exhibition of works from the Durban Art Gallery collection curated by Jenny Stretton and, together, represents the most significant exhibition in Durban for a very long time. 

This exhibition is sponsored in part by the Natal Arts Trust.

To my great relief I completed and submitted my piece on time, and today I heard that it had been selected to be part of the exhibition. Now this is a big deal because DAG is the Durban City metro gallery and thus it is extremely prestigious to be exhibiting there. Needless to say I am stoked!!

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My work is a visual, chronological narrative with a focus on gender, as well racial and colonial issues, specifically within the South African context. In studying the past as a record of change we are able to visualize a future South Africa in 2034. It is called Nomzamo which is Winnie Mandela’s name and translates as: “the mother of…”  or “she”who” struggles, endeavours.  August being women’s month, I thought this would be quiet fitting. The work consists of 4 pieces, each 85 cm by 60 cm. and is a mixture of oils, print, embroidery and hand-stitching. With my work, because it often deals with gender issues, I tend to use the stitching to deconstruct certain societal perceptions: 1) that it is, a craft associated with the feminine (not considered an art form), 2) the manner in which I create it which is associated with the masculine (factory, production lines) and the non-creative, reproduction of banal images. Also it speaks of how I make a living and the environment in which I find myself “enslaved”, working in a factory in clothing manufacturing and design.

So the opening is tonight and should be a blast! Try and make it if you can!

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Above: Nomzamo (2014): swany

swany

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