1 July- 1 August 2022
Text by Mahlomola Maroba
The NWU Gallery is thrilled to present an exhibition titled Leihlo la Sechaba (Eye of The People) curated by Mahlomola Maroba.
Leihlo la Sechaba (Eye of The People) is an expressive group exhibition intended to showcase the talent that South African townships have in the form of artists/creatives. The participating artists are Andile Bhala, Sebastian Legoete and Rooney Saaed.
The exhibition has a simultaneous and even greater responsibility of expressing the heartbeat/lifestyle of the township – a shadow of South Africa’s recognised reality beyond the marred narratives usually pontificated.
Leihlo la Sechaba is an expression of sexuality – one of the basis of expression for humanity in the 21st century.
The exhibition is an expression of how South African townships function & survive in this day and age, how evolving cultures are stifled by lack of language and therefore expression. In the same breath we note how South African townships are incubation centres for fashion, culture, tradition, lifestyle, music, entertainment, general creativity and expression – finding its way in global trends today regardless of the clear lack of language to express oneself freely due to the constraints/challenges in the environment. A flower cultivated in the darkness.
The exhibition explores various themes including survival, expression of sexuality – particularly traditional sexualities as well as focusing on the very misunderstood LGBTQI+ community, food, fashion, expressive culture & tradition, religion and the ordinary day-to-day lives of people in the
The exhibition begins by understanding what the township entails and then goes further to understand the different expressions found in the townships. Leihlo la Sechaba further explores the shadows by showcasing how expression is found in sexuality – investigating how the themes mentioned above are rooted in binaries and how marginal communities within the space survive and find expression in a space that has no language to understand them.
The exhibition expresses how evolution happens in the darkness, in a space that is not understood but continues to produce material that is not only vital to itself but also to the country South Africa – because it is the townships of South Africa that keep this nation alive, in the darkness we find this light.