Home for the Holidays

A Review by Shameelah Khan


Have you ever walked into a gallery and it automatically felt familiar, yet so far away? You recognize the white walls, the sterile smell, perfectly framed art, formalities and pretentious whispers? That feeling of discomfort and “fine art”?  A kind of ‘displacement’- a colonial breeze that follows in nuanced chit chatter and layers of ambiguities? Wanting to leave but wanting to stay? A need to be a part of that carefully curated space, but not really?

Completely changing this ‘narrative’. Dismantling it, Deconstructing and Re-constructing it, opening up the platform for new conversations around art, politics and print is Danger Gevaar Ingozi Studio (DGI). A multi-media black-owned printmaking and gallery space in Victoria Yards. DGI is a home for the artistic mind and soul. It aims to nurture creative collaboration that welcomes intersectional conversations around art, culture and the socio-political context we find ourselves in. 

More than a year later, and we all continue to feel the lingering effects of the pandemic on our communities. More than this- our artists. 

Home for the Holidays is a dynamic new screen-printing portfolio exhibition that explores the work of ten artists, navigating the social, political, historical, and economic implications of the pandemic in South Africa. 

“By sharing various perspectives and experiences of artistic practice, this exhibition seeks to contribute to conversations around the pandemic and how this environmental obstacle, in conjunction with individual identities and positionalities, ultimately works against independent artists. Investigating our current reality – the ‘new normal’ – calls for the redefining of artistic and collective practice, while addressing a period of time characterised by distance, distress and loss. Moments of confrontation, remembered histories, as well as messages of hopeful determination are intertwined in Home for the Holidays.” 

This Exhibition calls us to participate and reframe our own exploration of home and the pandemic. What it meant for us, from various backgrounds, making sense of our lives in the intimate spaces of our own homes. What  does the word ‘home’ really signify for us? What outer and inner journeys have we had to overcome to make it through? Be that isolation, mental health taking extreme turns, loss of loved ones, memories that move in-between-us, music that still mattered and the anxieties that never stopped knocking on our doors.

But also, that other things- the things that kept us breathing from day to day, the things we most held on to, the people, the forms, the family and friends, our ancestors, rituals of healing, the sky when it gave us deep reflection… or the days when hands created. The art that stayed alive… 

These artists in this exhibition have created from their inner most guts, from their own positionalities , navigating their responses to a pandemic. Their work will speak to you, because we have all needed to ‘speak’ for so long. 

 

Artists include Hafiza Asmal, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Chad Cordeiro, Motlhoki, Minenkulu Ngoyi, Nonku Phiri, Nathaniel Sheppard, Sifiso Temba, Helena Uambembe and Isaac Zavale. The printmakers for Home for the Holidays are Nathaniel Sheppard, Minenkulu Ngoyi and Chad Cordeiro, assisted by Adilson De Oliveira and Genevieve Schwulst.

 

Some of their artworks below:

 The exhibition is open April 27th – May 31st, 2021

Victoria Yards, Johannesburg 

11 am-13 pm