The AVA Gallery – Cape Town’s oldest non-profit art gallery and an artist-organized space – has three new exhibitions to enjoy and maybe even be challenged by. There’s Ubulungiswa/Justice Collaboration in the Main Gallery; Deborah Lazarus, The Layered Garden in the Long Gallery; and Danny Shorkend, The Enigma of Aleph-Beit, Alpha-Bet in the Mezzanine Gallery.
Ubulungiswa/Justice Collaboration – Main Gallery at AVA
Ubulungiswa/Justice (see top photo) is a collaboration between twenty-three artists from different disciplines, that was first shown at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts 2015 Graduate exhibition, and most recently in Alexander JHB, as part of the Maboneng Township Arts Experience.
The collaborative artwork was created in 2015 in response to the removal of the Cecil John Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town, the #RhodesMustFall and Open Stellenbosch Movements, combined with the re-eruption of xenophobic attacks and the proliferation of racially fueled discourse in South Africa. Through the process of collaborating, artists have examined the concept of justice and explored the struggles with their personal and collective histories.
“We attempted to collectively elicit the dif icult conversations and perspectives that we felt needed to emerge around social justice and power through a collaborative multidisciplinary approach.”
Through a process of workshops and discussions the collaborators co-created the work in an attempt to confront the nebulous, often uncomfortable experiences of the past and present that we are struggling to reconcile. The idea of ‘problematising’ individual authorship is the central tenant around which all collective practice revolves.
This collaboration uses the collective authorial voice as an artistic strategy to shift paradigms of thinking in relation to institutional, political and ideological structures.
Collaborators include: Anwar McWhite, Clinton Osbourn, Damien Schumann, Damien Morrison, Deborah Weber, Elgin Rust, Eric Menyo, Gina Waldman, Jolene Cartmill, Kwanele Dyasi, Loyiso Botha, Lazola Sikhutshwa, Luntu Vumazonke, Luvo Mjayezi, Maileshi Setti, Mandisile Keva, Margaret Stone, Michelle Liao, Nikki Froneman, Roxanne Dalton, Vuyolwethu Adams, Vuyokazi Magobiyane, Xolisa Pezisa.
The exhibitions runs until the 6th of April and will include new installations and a performance on the closing night, coinciding with First Thursdays in Cape Town.
Deborah Lazarus ,The Layered Garden, Long Gallery at AVA
Deborah Lazarus’ work in oils, mixed media, pastels, encaustic and photography feeds into her recent digital images which are imbued with a painterly quality that is evocative of her theme: The Layered Garden. She has drawn on time spent with her young daughter in the forest, the garden, and by the sea shore – looking, touching, smelling, sensing, feeling – and trying to imagine how her daughter might be experiencing those wonderlands.
Danny Shorkend, The Enigma of Aleph-Beit, Alpha-Bet, Mezzanine Gallery at AVA
Thought and speech define one’s world. It is through the vibrations created within the many possible combinations, permutations and configurations (that constitute words) that worlds are created, sustained and even destroyed. Each of the 22 paintings in Shorkend’s series is a personal meditation, considering the significance of form, name and numerical value of its letter. Such is the teaching of the kabbalah that explains the mystical import of each letter/form/sound vibration or name.
Metaphorically, human beings conceive reality through the use of letters in thought, speech and later, script. This mimics the continuous infusion of divine energy that creates and sustains all worlds. In order to truly be in synch with the infinite Creator, it is useful to draw from the original use of words, that of the Torah.
The artist concentrates on the aspects of sight, sound and numerical abstraction within the characters of the Aleph-Beit and is intrigued by the power of his own communication inwards (with himself), outwards (with others) and upwards (with the infinite Creator). It is with the potential towards the creation of positive worlds that he aspires.
An example that comes to mind is the phase of peace in the history of South Africa created by Nelson Mandela with his inspirational speeches in 1994.
WHERE: AVA Gallery, 35 Church St, Cape Town 8001
WHEN: until the 6th of April
INFO: 021 424 7436 firstname.lastname@example.org