ZAM Reporter

17.04.21—29.05.21, Cape Town | Art of Everyday Things

Nyambo MasaMara, umhambi I, Premium Satin paper, 2021

This group show investigates everyday objects and aspects of our daily lives that inspire the emergence of creativity —as well as the unexpected mediums that serve as canvases.

Including artworks that are derived from, or stand in place of, everyday utilitarian objects, the exhibition includes such unlikely mediums as walking-sticks, motorbikes, ceramic tableware, and unique couture.

Featuring Nyambo MasaMara, Laylaa Jacobs, Kevin Collins, Razia Myers, Hanna Noor Mohamed, Jeanius Exchange, Petrus Sekele, Petra Vonk, Ziyanda Majozi, and Coast and Koi.

The artists perpetually upend the distinction between an aesthetic and a utilitarian decision. Challenging the viewer to examine gender identities, dystopian and fictional realities, as well as everyday innuendos in a whole new way.

'Beyond Borders' by Nyambo MasaMara, an acclaimed fashion designer, who debuted as a visual artist last year, is inspired by his solo migration at age 13 from Rwanda as a refugee to South Africa. With his Pan-African futurist vision his photos and sculptures conjure up images of a profoundly spiritual and tenacious journey. Laylaa Jacobs body of work, entitled 'The taste of the fruit' is a metaphor on ethnic and cultural assimilation. Her vibrant prayer mats are a personal anecdote about sexuality, religion, and belonging as a Muslim woman in Western society.

Kevin Collins ceramic plates, are fashioned into a whimsical portrait, composed of metaphors, symbols, and inflections. Hanna Noor Mohamed employs reanimated objects and media to emphasize both global and subjective lived experience, history, and reality. Her work, which grapples with the psyche, physicality, and metaphysics surrounding these encounters, aims to illustrate them through satire and the construction of relationships between object and meaning-making. She borrows from pervasive television and film culture, transforming still images into witty abstract vignettes. Razia Myers also plays with popular culture. 'Utopia', draws from her observation of fashion runway performances and is invigorating in its vibrancy and exuberance. Nature, vitality, sensuality, fantasy, and an outlook on a future of hope and optimism are at the core for Myers.

Petrus Sekele's carved figurative walking sticks continue in the footsteps of his woodcarving heritage. Sekele, incorporates satirical contemporary iconography in vividly painted compositions. For mosaicist Ziyanda Majozi, her chosen medium is a fighting and talking tool. She focuses on issues that affect women and LGBTQI+ communities. Petra Vonk,Coast and Koi and Jeanius Exchange use unapologetic maximalism, but also gender-inclusive ethos at the intersections of fashion and art. As Oscar Wilde stated, "one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art".

Artists have always pushed the boundaries and challenged our preconceptions. Over time, the purpose of art has been represented as expressing feelings or emotions, reinforcing a sense of splendor, designating experience, or exploring new ideas for their own sake.

The Covid-19 pandemic altered our engagement with art and how we interact with it in our daily lives. Digitization and augmented reality have provided us with new cultural experiences. When our normal escapes or utopias were cut off, our ordinary possessions magnified. Homes were converted into art studios, libraries, restaurants, and classrooms.

OPENING: Satuday 17 April @ 11AM - 2PM
LOCATION: Jaffer Modern Art Gallery, Vib Hotel, 7th Floor, 181 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa