Three women artists showcase at Thapong

Three women artists, Keabetswe Kanasi, Dintle Mogaleemang and Rebecca de Figueiredo, will today showcase their works in an exhibition called "Painting and Pottery Exhibition" at Thapong Visual Centre.

The two potters are both from Old Naledi in Gaborone. The women say they were not always potters but joined the trade thanks to Matlo-go-sha-mabapi support group, which introduced them to Integrated Field Services (IFS), which was then looking for women to teach pottery.

In November 2004, IFS took 15 women to a workshop in Pilane to learn the art. Of the group, Kanasi and Mogaleemang are the only ones who are still enthusiastically pursuing their chosen path.

"Most of the women in our group left, saying they could not spend their lives playing around with clay in Gaborone," Kanasi explains.

However, despite many hurdles, the duo persisted and today they are leaders among their peers. Some of the challenges they faced were that they did not have a studio and the clay that they mostly use in making the pots is found in Lotlhakane near Kanye, which is too far.

When IFS learnt of their plight, it stepped in and brought them clay from Lotlhakane. In August last year, the archeology department at the National Museum also intervened by paying a year's rent for the struggling artists.

The potters have pooled their resources and now have a number of pieces, which are both classic and contemporary although they prefer classic works. Today these two women are considered leaders in their field and do not even think of looking back. Both artists admit that they do not make much money but all the same they are able to survive.

"I for one am not into pottery for money, it's my heartbeat," said Mogaleemang.

The other half of the exhibition is Rebecca de Figueiredo who specialises in painting. Figueiredo, who is from Bristol, England, came to Botswana in 1986. She has mounted three solo exhibitions, one joint exhibition at the National Museum, and has been included in the Artists in Botswana every year in the last 10 years. Of her works, Figueiredo says: "My art does have a strong sense of classical in it, and I think this comes from my early exposure to the classics of which there were many prints on the wall of my youth - my father loved them."

Thapong Visual Centre coordinator Reginald Bakwena says the centre is supportive of the women's endeavour and says of the forthcoming event, "This exhibition is also distinctly different from other exhibitions hosted in Thapong Visual Arts Gallery, because it is highlighting the presence of women in male dominated field."

The exhibition ends on April 27.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up