The Melrose Gallery
Curated Ruzy Rusike
Nature is the manifestation of the aura and intelligence of a living universe.
To be human is to be connected to each other and nature.
Everything in nature is energy – a force of constant flux and change.
My Vagina Was Not Buried With Him, by Napo Masheane
Stories of Our Soil is a collection of creations that will be featured at The Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg during Womxn’s Month, August 2021. This collection is an amalgamation of womxnhood, nature, our place within it, and how both have been exploited by our society. From an inner space, each of these artists have created raw portrayals of the problems that a colonial capitalist structured society have placed on our shoulders, but, importantly, each also conveys a message of hope on how to overcome these societal ills.
Both womxn and nature have been seen as tools and objects to be used in the pursuit of fame, fortune, money, and power. Our consent is discarded; our intimacy violated. Our rights are held for debate in public forums. We are told to stay in our lanes, to accept the role that society has bestowed upon us, to not rock the boat, not to question the authority, to buy the newest thing, and to accept with meek passivity the colonial echoes that continue to affect us down the ages. We hear this incessant chatter, born from a history of colonial capitalism that has percolated through time, but we have missed out on listening to our human spirit in favour of the clamouring tintinnabulation of capitalist greed, racial disparity, and individualistic fame and glory.
Our role as womxn has been dictated. Our planet has been poisoned. And our bodies have been used. We must confront the subjugated role that we have been placed in by society. We want to take this Womxn’s Month, August, to explore our shared humanity – that which connects each of us through both time and space – and examine how we can rectify how it has gone wrong. Womxn’s Month was intended as a starting point for reflection, so we must take this opportunity to reflect on the stories of our soil through texts, images, and history.
We must be the harbingers of change in our world, but none of us can do it alone. Nature is in constant flux – it is ever changing, growing, mutating, decaying, and regrowing. We must do the same. Once we have borne the brunt of what has happened to us, we must decide to begin again and change ourselves. This show is itself a portrayal of how to overcome. It is a coming together of artists who want to reject the paths that society has put them on, it is an inwardly-focused exploration of the deepest parts of our souls, and it is an acknowledgement of the things that tie us together as a collective rather than separate us as individuals.
The Month Long program will include an exhibition of artworks across various genres including painting, sculpture, phototroph, performing arts amongst others and will also be presented online.
For more information go to www.themelrosegallery.com
untitled body of work, 2020 by Tshepiso Mazibuko
these wreathes are laid in honour of her memories, 2020, wooden swings and paper flowers, detailed views. By Gladys Kalichin Photograph by Arthur Debert
these wreathes are laid in honour of her memories, 2020, wooden swings and paper flowers, detail views. By Gladys Kalichin Photograph by Arthur Debert
Thokoza II (Diptych), Pastel, Charcoal, copper, staples and
blowtorch on board by Olwethu de Vos.
World apart Fordsburg, 2015 by Tshepiso Mazibuko