Mmegi Online :: San artists to showcase artworks in Gabs
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Last Updated
Tuesday 26 September 2017, 06:00 am.
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San artists to showcase artworks in Gabs

After almost three years, celebrated San artists affiliated to the Kuru Art Project in D'Kar, will return to Gaborone to showcase their artworks at the Botswanacraft Gallery in about two weeks.
By STAFF WRITER (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: San artists to showcase artworks in Gabs








Themed "Life Circles," the exhibition will feature the works of renowned artists Coex'ae Bob, Cg'ose Ntc›x'o, Thamae Kaashe, Gamnqoa Kukama, Xgaiga Qomatc‹, Nxabe Tase, Qhaqhoo Xare, Qg›cgae (Sara) Cao, Cgoma Simon, Jan John, Kg'akg'am Tshabu and Xaga Tcuixgao.  "Life Circles" - an exhibition of paintings and graphic art - opens on November 24 (evening) and will run until December 3.  "It is almost three years since the work of these artists has been shown in Gaborone.  The last time was in 2007 with the 21st anniversary of the Kuru Family of Organisations at the National Museum.  That exhibition will be well remembered by those who attended it.

This time, although on a smaller scale, the exhibition will nevertheless be just as impressive," Maude Brown of the Kuru Art Project said.  The exhibition will also showcase the works of one of the newcomers to the Kuru Art Project, Ncaote Kase, wife of the late Thamae Setshogo, who joined the project this year, with her work described as amazingly of high standards.  The exhibition will in a way pay tribute to two departed artists, Setshogo and Dada Qgam, both of whom were well-known and favoured artists worldwide, by showing their last lino cuts.

"What strikes you most when you walk into the Kuru Art Studio in D'Kar, are the vividly bright colours that meet the eye.  Large colourful canvases fill up the walls, some finished and some clearly not.  The use of colour is as free and unpretentious as is also the almost primitive designs of plant and animal life.  A few women sit on the floor, canvases in front of them.

Their bright head scarves and the cloths around their shoulders emphasise the colours in the paintings surrounding them.  Tubes of paint and a wide selection of

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cut out tins containing colour mixes clutter the studio. 

They laugh and talk cheerfully in their soft click language, while they paint their designs with careful strokes.

Two men work standing, with their canvases on the large table in the centre of the studio.  They join the talk and laughter of the women.  In another room, Thamae Kasha, is cutting out a lino block.  He handles the sharp cutting tool with deft assuredness.  His designs are of much greater precision than those of the women artists.  In a corner, Jan John had made a small exhibit of his work.  Linocuts are neatly displayed in a handmade cardboard folder.  A beautifully carved wooden sculpture of delicate birds with wings fluttering in a tree forms the centre piece of his display.  Some small paintings on off cut pieces of hardboard and canvas finish the picture.

The versatility of this artist is immediately obvious.  "Our art is about our lives," remarks one of the women. 

Pictures of ancient plant forms, insects, ant hills, sand dunes and animals that you do not find in Dakar any more, come to mind.  Titles like Skin Bag, Tortoise and Woman Collecting Veld Food, Living In The Past, Past And Present Life, Birds And Seeds that curl, The Importance Of An Ostrich, The Giraffe And Ncamacucu, speak for themselves," Brown elaborates.

The exhibition will also feature some beautiful embroidered pieces by artists from the Keiskamma project in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.  The Keiskamma project, which works amongst the underprivileged in the Eastern Cape, are well-known for their large multimedia pieces like the Keikamma altar pieces and the Keiskamma Guernica.  The embroidered pieces for this exhibition, according to Brown, were all inspired by Kuru Art showing that art can communicate and cross boundaries.

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