IS Art Gallery
By Hendrik Theron

Farewell / Hamba Kahle, 2020 | 28/11/2020 until 31/01/2021

Diane McLean – Still life with baboon skull

As the year 2020 – perhaps in its revelation, and perhaps in its reverie – needs no introduction, similarly, there also needs no further support for our staunch desire to bid it a swift, unceremonious farewell.

With vigorous, searing brush-strokes, not unlike an artist vehemently re-using a battered old canvass, forcefully impressing upon it a “new” vision of what it ought to be, this year has been a tangible re-imagination of our world, and one that will leave a deep impression. Whatever this year may have meant to us – the good, the bad, and the ugly – one thing stands as trite, it is now, and will forever be history. We find ourselves than on the cusp of turning over a new leaf, of starting anew and closing off a chapter we all otherwise wish we could have skipped.

That being said, we now venture into the unknown crevasses of the future. Humanity is inherently frightened of what lies ahead – in the darkness, beyond that shadow cast on the ground. Having braved the rigours of this year, however, and perhaps out of nothing more than hopeless optimism, we remain resolute and ready for any eventuality. As South Africans, we have a proven tenacity and spirit that is unmatched by any other nation. Time and time again, South Africans are knocked down and keep getting up, each time building stronger and stronger foundations. This resilience, while flowing like a golden thread through the many folds, creases, and corners that make up our celebrated rainbow-nation, also weaves its way into our art.

In Xhosa, “farewell” is expressed as “hamba kahle”, which translates literally to “go well” – this then, is an articulation of our natural inclination, irrespective of creed or culture, to follow-through a greeting with ceremoniously wishing upon one another good fortune and prosperity for what lies ahead. The phrase then resonates on an inherently South African level – “go”, referring to the inevitability of having to move on, whereas “well” refers to the resilient optimism which South Africans carry with them through any journey.

Johann Slee – Laat Sonneblomme


Johann Slee – Copper Irises

In true South African character, not only has our art braved the metaphorical storm, it has done so resoundingly undeterred and has moved from strength to venerable strength, claiming its stake between the pages of history. This, if nothing else, is deserving of celebration.

IS Art in its annual year-end group exhibition titled, Farewell / Hamba Kahle has brought together a dynamic and colourful selection of artists that have come to represent not only IS Art and its offerings over the years but the very best that South African art and our rainbow-nation has to offer. IS Art presents these works from Stijdom van der Merwe, Wilma Cruise, Sharlé Matthews, Cornelia Stoop, Judy Woodbourne, Jacqueline Crewe-Brown, Helen Vaughan, and Sarel Petrus, to name a few, in celebration of our shared journey – both past, present, and future.

We don’t know where the road will take us from here, yet we stand together – proudly South African.

The exhibition will run from 28 November 2020 to 31 January 2021 at IS Art, Stellenbosch, and the Slee Gallery, Stellenbosch. The exhibition opening will take place on 28 November 2020, at 11h00.

For more information contact: / tel: (021) 883 9717

29b Church Street, Stellenbosch, Western Cape | Tokara Wine Estate, Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch, Western Cape.

Tall Stacked Cactus