Images of Women   Leave a comment

“Images of Women: A Selection of Mixed Media Artworks”

at Upstairs@ Bamboo

Melville, Johannesburg

21-30 AUGUST 2012  

Introduction to the Catalogue

“Images of Women” is a group exhibition that features artworks by more than 30 mostly young and emerging artists from South Africa and several other Southern African countries. The use of various artistic mediums — drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture, tapestry, beading on canvas, digital and mixed media — will allow the artists to ex press themselves freely on the theme.

This exhibition takes place during Women’s Month. In order to honour women, we seek to highlight images of women which move away from the representation of women as “objects to be looked at” which simply serve to satisfy the desires and fantasies of viewers. We posit the need to reject the position of women as “other” and rather recognize them as the pillars at the centre of our lives and society.

The artworks selected for this show challenge viewers to consider the different ways in which artists conceptualize and produce their artworks, the ways in which artists use different mediums and materials to portray women and their lives, and why they use those particular mediums or artistic styles. The artworks may also breakdown the distinctions between art and craft, and seek to use language as a complement to art with a view to enhancing their message.

The show presents images that – with creativity and innovation, humanity, intelligence, irony and humour – provide a new take on the situation of women in South Africa. While the exhibition includes images reflecting the strength and resilience of women in the face of poverty, abuse, and discrimination, it emphasizes images that offer visions of positive futures for women in our society. The artwork shows awareness of broader social, political and economic issues that affect women. It challenges stereotypes of both women and men, acknowledges the fluidity and ongoing redefinition of femininity and masculinity, reflects subjective rather than objective viewpoints, and offers opportunities for advocacy of women’s rights. The artworks challenge the viewers to “see” women with new “open eyes”. Vula amehlo!

The exhibition aims to empower the artists and the viewers and encourage them to take an active rather than a passive stance with regard to developing a new culture of mutual respect in all spheres of life. We hope that all who attend the exhibition will leave with a revived sense of responsibility toward the “human presences” depicted in the art.

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory Asha Nanyanzi, the beautiful and caring Ugandan wife of our dear Rwandan artist friend, John Taouss. Asha died in June 2012 as the result of a vicious assault by armed robbers in the spaza shop she and John built up together over many months of relentless hard work. This assault and robbery had all the hallmarks of a xenophobic attack – the second time John had been a victim of such horror. In May 2008 he lost everything except his life in a xenophobic attack in Mamelodi. This time he lost not only all his material possessions, but his beloved wife as well. Hamba kahle, Asha! We will miss you and will do our best to help John get back on his feet once again.

This Exhibition Catalogue presents each of the artists in turn (alphabetically). The artist statements written by the artists are shown alongside images of some of their artwork in the exhibition.

We thank everyone who has visited the show and hope that you will continue to support Vula Amehlo Art Development in its future endeavours.

Anne J. Gordon

Director, Vula Amehlo Art Development

Curator, “Images of Women”

Editor, Exhibition Catalogue

Download the catalogue

Posted September 23, 2012 by vulaamehlo

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