From desolated recollections to anticipated festivities

From desolated recollections to anticipated festivities

Artwork Details: Kimathi Mafafo, Voiceless VIII, 2018, Embroidered panel, 51 x 39 cm, ArtbankSA Collection


21months ago a global pandemic, the Corona virus, infiltrated our homes, bodies, and ways of living and thinking. Finally it impacted how we perform rituals, celebrate and gain energy from friends and family as well as communities surrounding us. Insecurities are fostered due to continuously changing lockdown levels, rumours about different variant strains of the virus, and approaching ‘waves’. This resulted into conspiracy theories creating fear and a loss of trust in science and leadership. Regrettably our ‘new normal’ led to extreme poverty, an increase of gender based violence, isolation and a loss of hope for many people.

The main concept of this exhibition is not focusing on the harsh, depressive realities the country had to face the last few months. But rather to acknowledge this reality by contrasting isolation with festive rituals and celebrations. Artworks from the Permanent Collection and the ArtbankSA Collection were handpicked to unpack concepts about joyful moments, hinting about the possibility of upcoming holidays and leisure activities. Ultimately we ask the questions of how and with whom we will celebrate these moments and will it be allowed? Can traditional festivities be revitalised with new memories and cheerful celebrations that will create new optimism without feelings of negativity or hopelessness? The choice of artworks also dialogues the different ways individuals experience the festive season.

This exhibition’s ultimate aim is to showcase works that ranges from a variety of themes: satire, beauty, interior and exterior spaces, mysticism, rituals and traditions, hopeful views of vacations or places to escape in contrast with desolated spaces. A strong focus will be given on rituals, the ceremonial and how we celebrate and relax with dance, music and cooking.

From desolated recollections to anticipated festivities, curated from Oliewenhuis Art Museum’s Permanent Collection and ArtbankSA’s Collection by Yolanda de Kock.

For more information please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 011 0525 (ext 200) or