23 June until 05 August 2021
Once we were heroes’ attempts to respond to the lingering uncertainty brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic. The world appears to be on standby. References have been made to a new normal, alluding to a future that is unknown.
What is known are the challenges that the whole world is currently grappling with. The loss of human life, loss of jobs, and – most importantly – the question, when will all this end? The art sector in South Africa is no different. Artists face an uncertain future. Online exhibitions have become a norm. This has changed the artistic practice as we know it. Historically, viewers needed to be intimate with the artwork to fully appreciate it. The artist’s skill, textures and materiality all created the viewer experience. Some of these elements are not easily experienced through the digital mode. With the advantages that online exhibitions bring, such as the ability to reach greater numbers of audiences owing to the internet, the nagging question remains: is the new normal a forever normal?
In recognising the complexities of the times, once we were heroes attempts to acknowledge and celebrate the artists who have persevered and continued to produce artworks without the certainty of what will become of their produce, as the old normal would have “given” them. The exhibition title is a play on words on what would become of the South African creative sector and its heroes, the artists in the new normal.
The exhibition forms part of the North West province ArtbankSA programme launch. The exhibition will feature artworks from such artists as Daniel Tladi, Poloko Madikong, Nicola Holgate, Phoka Nyokong, Kali Van Der Merwe, Lebohang Motaung, Dimakatso Mathopa, Franz Phooko, Thalente Khomo, Mothobi Mefani, Themba Khumalo, Collen Maswanganyi, Tshegofatso Nkhumeleng, Cassian Robberze and Lindo Zwane to mention but a few.
The Art Bank of South Africa is a national programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation. ArtbankSA is hosted by the National Museum Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. Its vision is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art.
ArtbankSA will achieve this through curating a definitive collection of contemporary South African visual art, promoting financial sustainability for the artists. This will be done through the leasing and selling of artworks, nurturing emerging South African artists by expanding the market for their work and providing skills development opportunities and fostering an appreciation for contemporary art by making art accessible to the broader public in their workplaces, shared spaces and homes.
The collection offers the public a window of opportunity to assist the ArtbankSA in achieving these targets. Through the exhibitions that it curates, ArtbankSA seeks to receive feedback from the different sectors of society, but most importantly to use the platform to communicate its work and the available opportunities for young South African contemporary Artists in its work. Please join us in celebrating this milestone.
For more information, please contact NWU Art Gallery Curator, Ms Amohelang Mojahane on the following contact details…
Tel: (018) 299 4341