08.03.2018 - 05.04.2018
Ubulungiswa/Justice Collaboration (Main Gallery)
Deborah Lazarus - The Layered Garden (Long Gallery)
Danny Shorkend - The Enigma of Aleph-Beit,
Alpha-Bet (Mezzanine Gallery)
Ubulungiswa/Justice is a collaboration between twenty-two artists from different disciplines. This collaborative artwork was created in 2015 in response to the removal of the Cecil John Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town, the #RhodesMustFall and Open Stellenbosch Movements, combined with the re-eruption of xenophobic attacks and the proliferation of racially fueled discourse in South Africa.
Through the process of collaborating we have examined the concept of justice and explored the struggles with our personal and collective histories. We attempted to collectively elicit the difficult conversations and perspectives that we felt needed to emerge around social justice and power through a collaborative multidisciplinary approach. Through a process of workshops and discussions the collaborators co-created the work in an attempt to confront the nebulous, often uncomfortable experiences of the past and present that we are struggling to reconcile.
The Layered Garden
Deborah Lazarus’ work in oils, mixed media, pastels, encaustic and photography feeds into her recent digital images which are imbued with a painterly quality that is evocative of her theme: The Layered Garden. She has drawn on time spent with her young daughter in the forest, the garden, and by the sea shore – looking, touching, smelling, sensing, feeling – and trying to imagine how her daughter might be experiencing those wonderlands.
The Enigma of Aleph-Beit, Alpha-Bet
Thought and speech define one’s world. It is through the vibrations created within the many possible combinations, permutations and configurations (that constitute words) that worlds are created, sustained and even destroyed. Each of the 22 paintings in Shorkend’s series is a personal meditation, considering the significance of form, name and numerical value of its letter. Such is the teaching of the kabbalah that explains the mystical import of each letter/form/sound vibration or name.
Metaphorically, human beings conceive reality through the use of letters in thought, speech and later, script. This mimics the continuous infusion of divine energy that creates and sustains all worlds. In order to truly be in synch with the infinite Creator, it is useful to draw from the original use of words, that of the Torah. The artist concentrates on the aspects of sight, sound and numerical abstraction within the characters of the Aleph-Beit and is intrigued by the power of his own communication inwards (with himself), outwards (with others) and upwards (with the infinite Creator). It is with the potential towards the creation of positive worlds that he aspires.
An example that comes to mind is the phase of peace in the history of South Africa created by Nelson Mandela with his inspirational speeches in 1994.