Curated by Ruzy Rusike

The Melrose Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, “Quiet as it’s kept,” curated by Ruzy Rusike.

The exhibition will feature works by Tamary Kudita, Philiswa Lila, Tayhe Munsamy, Sahlah Davids, Lebohang Motaung, Kganya Mogashoa, Phumzile Buthelezi,  Bulumko Mbete, Zenande Mketeni, Candy Kramer and Ilana Seati. The exhibition will run from the 30th of July until the 27th of August, alongside a month-long performance programme, that will challenge the way in which the exhibition is read and the way in which the body of works hold space within the gallery.

Tamary Kudita | Vessel

The exhibition has been curated as an imagery book of women by women, reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s favorite African-American phrase, “Quiet as it’s kept,” the exhibition serves as a conduit for revelation. The phrase embodies an incarnation that paradoxically exists in both the revealed and the concealed. It encapsulates resilience, pain, and generational trauma, acting as a cover or an alleviation for the traumas experienced by oneself or others in the family. It manifests an intimate expression of violence, both physical and emotional, through the act of resilience. Women are often burdened with the expectation of resilience in order to maintain a semblance of “peace” in various societal, cultural, or subcultural contexts.

Tayhe Munsamy, For Those Born of The Blood, This History is Held for You, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 155cm x 300cm

This exhibition, therefore, stands as a bold proclamation, inviting all that remains “Quiet as it’s kept” to be brought into visibility. It beckons a world where an alternative reality emerges, calling upon a form of spectatorship that transcends singular narratives and permeates every facet of existence. The notion of “everywhere” that I allude to here reflects the hidden, the concealed, and the simultaneous revelation. It operates within a specific discourse of secrecy, as the artists portray internalized scenes that have long-awaited recognition. The exhibition explores and speaks to the myriad ways in which relationships—between the living and the deceased, between groups within society, and between humans and the supernatural—are structured. Like fertile soil, art serves as a resource to challenge symbolic rituals and express a society’s attitudes towards sex and gender relations.

By shedding light on what has been kept in the shadows, this exhibition invites us to confront and redefine the narratives that govern our understanding of ourselves and others. It encourages a collective awakening, a transformation fueled by the power of art to reshape our perceptions and reimagine our world. Therefore this exhibition acts as a catalyst for introspection and social change, providing a space for dialogue and reflection. It reminds us that art in its various forms has the potential to be a force for liberation, healing, and empowerment.

As visitors engage with the works on display, they are invited to reconsider their own experiences and perceptions. The exhibition serves as a reminder that our stories are intertwined, that our struggles and triumphs are not isolated but shared. It challenges us to confront the silences and secrets that have plagued our society, recognizing that by giving voice to what has been kept hidden, we can begin to heal and create a more inclusive and compassionate world.

Therefore “Quiet as it’s kept” is not simply an exhibition of art; it is a bridge towards an inclusive and alternate exploration into understanding the human condition. Catapulting us into the unknown forms of expression thus tapping into reality.

We invite you to collaborate, reckon, view and digest this exhibition which will run from the 30th of July until the 27th of August, below are the details regarding the performance program


Thursday 20 July 6pm Slindile Mthembu

Thursday 3 August 630pm Tayhe Munsamy, Philiswa Lila & Ivukuvuku

Thursday 17 August 6pm Bridget Modema


For those unable to attend in person the exhibition will also be presented online and can be accessed from 31 July 2023 Visit for more information or contact

Tamary Kudita | The Gathering


Tamary Kudita | Lotus


Tamary Kudita | Liberty 1980


Andile Bhala. Opposite Page: Tamary Kudita, Vessel.


Kganya Mogashoa, Frances Baard


Kganya Mogashoa, Bertha Gxowa

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