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English curator addresses local artists

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
Mellisa at Thapong. PIC. KENNEDY RAMOKONE
UK Curator Melissa Hinkin recently addressed local visual artists during an Art Talk arranged by Thapong Visual Arts Centre in partnership with the British Council.

Hinkin was in Botswana for an initiative for local art practitioners code-named ‘Echoes of [Un]Silenced Voices’ #EchoesUV. Hinkin told the artists that she started embracing art from as young as five-years-old.  She said at first she did not know what curating was all about, but working with different artists across many galleries in Europe helped her better understand the curatorial practice.

Hinkin, together with a team of other judges, is tasked with choosing three individual artists who will each be awarded P30,000 towards development and production of new artworks for the exhibition, which need not be confined to the gallery space, as there is room to explore public spaces just as well.

“Space is important because of content. It is challenging because an artwork is aligned to it,” she said. Hinkin added that knowing context of space is important for

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curators.  She announced that during the screening process it was challenging and interesting.

“There were different ways in which people applied for this. We were meticulous about the criterion and next time we will give artists more time,” she specified.

One of the judges, Tumie Thuthuka from Art Connect BW, said the open call in the project required fresh and groundbreaking proposals. Despite having many applications, Thuthuka blatantly revealed that most of the applications were disappointing. “We had to see if you met the requirements. CVs were not specific, motivation statements were not strong enough,” he said.

Thuthuka added that with the project they wanted to move away from the normal wildlife, portrait and landscape paintings. “We want work that can create dialogue. Losers should not lose heart but should go back and perfect their work,” he said.



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