ART EXHIBITION REFLECTS BACK TWENTY YEARS INTO DEMOCRACY
By: Winston Sibanda
Hundreds of people gathered at the Durban Art Gallery as four exhibitions were officially opened on Tuesday evening.
The exhibitions, which flashed back on twenty years into democracy, showcased lives of different people during the apartheid era.
One of the exhibitors Rodney Harber’s pieces stroked a balance between art and architecture.
Some of his work looked at the structure of Mahatma Gandhi’s phoenix home and the Shembe eBuhleni. His work attracted a lot of architects from the International Union of Architects conference currently underway in Durban.
Haber said art has helped him fit into society. “Growing up I was margnalised because I am not white and now I am margnalised because I am not black so my art work brings about the balance,” Haber said.
Vice president of KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts (KZNSA), Sheryl Msomi described the issue of democracy as a complex one. She said it was refreshing to see different interpretations of democracy at once since there were four exhibitions. She urged people to value the impact of Art.
Msomi said, “Art is the best vehicle for social cohesion and people should utilise it.”
One of the exhibitors of “Quite Place” Angela Buckland said her work was a reflection of life in hostels during the apartheid era. She said she chose to look at hostel life because she felt it was a reflection of how apartheid affected ordinary people.
Buckland described the type of life as unhuman. Her idea was to tell the stories of unknown people who lived under these conditions.
“Now I am looking at the lives of ordinary women who lived under unnatural conditions and yet they made the place habitable,” said Buckland.
She said she wanted to highlight the idea of displacement.
EThekwini’s Head of Arts and Culture Guy Redman commended the artists for sharing their artwork with the public. He said he was impressed by how the idea of being African was portrayed in the artist’s work.