Thapong Visual Arts Centre will host a COVID- 19 art exhibition for selected members with a provision for other artists at the end of current lockdown.
One of the artists responsible for organising the exhibition, Kate Kwati told Arts & Culture in an interview that as Thapong they expect their members who have been in lockdown to continue producing artworks inspired by the pandemic. Kwati also said as social commentators, artists through their craft could make a difference in society.
“Art on its own has healing powers. It is therapeutic. Art is educative and it can take one’s mind off extreme mental and fatal thoughts and make one appreciates the unimaginable. Artists’ work through inspiration from what is happening around them.
Anything good or bad that manifests itself in the world has the power to influence an artist’s creative juices to flow and urge the artist to creatively present a solution or perspective beyond normal thinking and even beyond science in the case of therapy and healing,” she revealed.
She said as artists they could not watch the world fight a monstrous pandemic and sit back and forget the purpose and difference art can bring to society.
Kwati further indicated that over the years doctors have used art therapy through artists, to communicate emotionally/mentally for the wellbeing of the affected and infected.
“Art combines counselling and psycho-therapy. Creating art and viewing people’s artworks help in exploring emotions
It can also help one to cope with stress. That is why we thought reflecting on this pandemic would bring a difference,” she highlighted.
Kwati encouraged all artists in Botswana to take part in the exhibition.
She expressed hope that everyone will bring a different perspective to the exhibition. “This will be an insight which will spark debate in the society about the influence of the arts in life generally.
The choice of works to be exhibited will depend on the artist’s ability to communicate through art. We always encourage artists to be thorough in doing their work. This will not be a problem at all as we trust the ability of each and every artist,” she said.
More importantly, Kwati highlighted that the exhibition is not only for aesthetics but it is rather an exhibition that will teach and uplift the status of the arts in this country.
She said artists are encouraged to submit works across all art disciplines as per areas of their specialty.
“We encourage even non Thapong members to consider participating and taking up membership as we want everyone to benefit from the membership as a collective going forward,” she stated.
Kwati hosts the exhibition alongside fellow artists Emmanuel Senamolela and Mbako Lesetedi.