Once We Were Heroes North-West Provincial Launch Exhibition
Once we were heroes attempted to respond to the lingering uncertainty brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic. The world appears to be on standby. References have been made to a new normal, alluding to a future that is unknown. What is known are the challenges that the whole world grapples with as a result. The loss of human life, loss of jobs, and – most importantly – the question, when will all this end? The art sector in South Africa is no different. Artists face an uncertain future. Online exhibitions have become a norm. This has changed the artistic practice as we know it. Historically, viewers needed to be intimate with the artwork to fully appreciate it. The artist’s skill, textures and materiality all created the viewer experience. Some of these elements are not easily experienced through the digital mode. With the advantages that online exhibitions bring, such as the ability to reach greater numbers of audiences owing to the internet, the nagging question remains: is the new normal a forever normal?
In recognising the complexities of the times, Once we were heroes attempted to acknowledge and celebrate the artists who have persevered and continued to produce artworks without the certainty of what will become of their produce, as the old normal would have “given” them. The exhibition title is a play on words on what would become of the South African creative sector and its heroes, the artists in the new normal.
The exhibition marks the North West provincial launch of the Art Bank of South Africa programme. The exhibition featured artworks from a variety of artists such as Daniel Tladi, Poloko Madikong, Nicola Holgate, Phoka Nyokong, Kali Van Der Merwe, Lebohang Motaung, Dimakatso Mathopa, Franz Phooko, Thalente Khomo, Mothobi Mefani, Themba Khumalo, Collen Maswanganyi, Tshegofatso Nkhumeleng, Cassian Robberze and Lindo Zwane to mention but a few.
The exhibition could be viewed at the NWU Art Gallery (North-West University, Building E7, Hoffman street, Potchefstroom. 2520) and Klerksdorp Museum (C/o Lombaard & Margrieta, Margaretta Prinsloo St, Klerksdorp Central, Klerksdorp, 2570) between 23 June and 5 August 2021.
360° tours of the Art Bank of South Africa “𝙊𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙒𝙚 𝙒𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙤𝙚𝙨” North West Provincial Launch Exhibition