Lockdown inspired art at Zeitz museum

Claude Chandler has a self-portrait of himself in his painting uniform, titled Suit Up.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is putting local artists at centre stage with an exhibition of their work.

The call went out in September for Capetonians to submit works of art that brought a sense of joy during the months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Home Is Where The Art Is: Art Is Where The Home Is, marks the reopening of the Zeitz MOCAA after seven months of closure due to lockdown.

At the opening on Wednesday October 22, Liesl Hartman, one of the curators of the exhibition, says over 2 000 pieces were submitted from 1 600 artists.

“Some artists made a drawing a day everything was included and everyone was treated alike,” says Ms Hartman.

Zeitz Mocaa partnered with art organisations as drop-off points, in Stellenbosch, Khayelitsha, Muizenberg, Hout Bay, Gugulethu and the museum in the V&A Waterfront.

Head of Tygerberg Art Centre, Fransonette Swart, says they took about 70 enrolments.

“The wearing of the masks made people less responsive than usual but those who recognised each other had short conversations,” she says.

Ms Hartman says a team of curators put the exhibition together in two weeks dividing them into themes of time, people (the largest), insight, outside and garden.

Accountant Corné Botha of Durbanville has two pieces on display, Beterbestebotha, an acrylic on canvas painting of her husband and another of her son Michael, called Wednesday’s Child. “For a brief time, I can pretend to be a world-renowned artist,” says Ms Botha.

Fine artist Claude Chandler of Observatory has a self-portrait of himself in his painting uniform, titled Suit Up.

He manages an artist studio in Salt River called SideTrack Studios where seven of the artists entered work for the show. The group visited the museum together.

“It’s fantastic to support each and the hundreds of Cape Town artists. We’re very impressed with the quality of work,” says Mr Chandler.

Julien Ntamakemwa of Parow will be visiting the museum regularly to see the reaction on people’s faces when they view a portrait from his “ME WE” series. Mr Ntamakemwa is studying commerce at the University of Western Cape.

Woodstock artist Ledelle Moe says she’s delighted to have her work at the museum. “And to be a part of this radically inclusive show. This piece was a study for a larger work I made for a solo exhibition that is currently up at Mass MoCA in America,” says Ms Moe.

Kirsten Arendse from Kuils River entered a mixed media piece, Rafel Uit, saying it’s one of her difficult creations, mentally and physically.

“I’m very critical about my work, so participating in this exhibition was literally a leap of faith. I’m so glad that I took this jump,” she says.

Ms Arendse, who is a marketing and communications manager, says she can’t wait to view her work at the museum.

At the launch, speaking from Switzerland, Zeitz Mocaa executive director Koyo Kouoh, said: “This exhibition is our way of thanking everyone for their support. It is an opportunity to celebrate the strength, unity and spirit of individuals throughout this difficult time,”

The exhibition is open from Thursday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm, until Sunday January 10, 2021. For more information visit their website, email muesum.aacomztiez@snoissimbus, or call 087 350 4777.

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