The curator of the ‘Voices of Africa’ exhibition underway at Stephan Welz & Co gallery in Sandton says ‘township art’ is on the rise.
Curator and Project co-ordinator, Jessica Deutsch says the inspiration behind this exhibition was when she met the late Peter Clarke two years ago and became aware of the situation of artists in South Africa.
She points out: “There was just not enough collecting public to sustain the huge amount of galleries. At the same time, collectors were not engaging. And I analyzed it and I saw that young artists in townships couldn’t survive without donations or help from the private sector.”
Deutsch says she approached Stephan Welz & Co to give these deserving artists a platform to show off their incredible talents. The exhibition has given the artists the space to breathe life into their paintings.
“What’s gone up here is going from one artist to the next and really seeing how they think, how they feel about South Africa today. Because after all, the role of the artist is to be the poet, it’s to express what he or she sees and what affects their subconscious minds.”
Two of the artists featured at the exhibition, Ayanda Mabulu and Senzo Shabangu, have managed to create artworks that are symbolic and very controversial, she mentioned.
Deutsch says artists should be allowed to speak, because it’s the artist that forces change.
“So, in this exhibition, you have the disappointment, you have the dreams, you have the cross from urban to city. You have the feelings about being in the city. It all comes together.”