19 Jan

Remembering Louis Maqhubela, Pioneering And Enigmatic South African

It was the first South African artist Louis Khehla Maqhubela passed away on the 6th of November 2021. In St Thomas Hospital located in London, UK, a few days after the passing of his spouse Tana Maqhubela also passed. He leaves behind a significant and enduring legacy.

He was a bridge builder between South Africa’s urban and black township artists of the 50s, 60s and the 70s. The shift he made to move away from expressionism. That was prescriptive into the internationalist style and issues cannot be undervalued.

The Early South Years

Maqhubela was born in Durban, South Africa, in 1939. His parents relocated from Durban to Johannesburg at the beginning of 1949 and the two sisters. And he were taken to live with his aunt who lived in the village. Located in Matatiele in the province of the Eastern Cape province. Until they were reunited with their parents three years later.

Maqhubela was part of Durant Sihlali’s group of weekend artists from 1955 until 1957. Between 1957 and 1959, when he was still attending the school in Soweto the city, he was studying under the guidance by Cecil Skotnes known for his incised and painted wood panels, woodblock prints sculpture and tapestries and the sculptor Sydney Kumalo at the Polly Street Art Centre.

The centre was located in the hall of Johannesburg and was geared towards students from black schools. It showcased artists from every race, defying race-based segregation that was the result of the government’s white minority apartheid policies that saw blacks displaced into townships that were not part of the cities.

Company As An South Artist

Maqhubela began his career for a company as an artist. However, after 1960 he was hire to create mosaics and paintings in schools, hospitals bars, halls and lounges within and surrounding Soweto township. Skotnes assisted in a request to design four oils for the public structures. The only one that is still in existence can found in Township Scene (1961).

It displays the vitality of the artist, his drawing skills and the use of bold, non-descriptive colour as well as expressive painting techniques that set it apart from the more stale impressions of township life in black prevalent at the time. Despite being in an oppressive apartheid-style environment, Maqhubela excelled and had great success in the beginning of his career.

A Transformational South Trip

He was award the first prize in The Adler Fielding Gallery’s annual Artists of Fame and Promising exhibition in 1966. He won with a huge conte sketch titled Peter’s Decline. The Namibian-born artist Stanley Pinker was the runner-up and Maqhubela was the first to bridge the divide between white and black South African artists. His work highly sought-after.

Maqhubela’s prize consisted of the return flight to Europe Maqhubela was knowledgeable and educated however, the three months spent in Europe changed his work and life.

In the most prestigious galleries and museums He was expose to the masters of Modernism and abstract art. The major Swiss-German exhibition artist Paul Klee’s works in Paris was a major influence on the artist.

In a bid to meet famous artist Francis Bacon, Maqhubela went to St Ives in Cornwall to visit South African-born artist Douglas Portway. In Portway he discovered not just an experienced and talented painter and a friend spirit, someone who was in seeking inspiration and expression beyond.

Metaphysical And Spiritual

What seen and who interest in the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of art. In an interview published on The Star newspaper in 1968 just after his return Maqhubela stated. I learned a lot from Maqhubela. We talked for hours about techniques and art. His personal journey to the source of his divine inspiration was through his studies with Rosicrucian Order. Rosicrucian Order.

Maqhubela’s break from tradition as well as his exuberant new style signified his departure from figurative expressionist that emphasized the human form, and the start of an individual engagement with abstraction in the modernist style, which referred to the forms and shapes.

The process was accompanied by the creation of an iconographic language and language that was influence by his search for spiritual development. His oil paintings on paper or canvas of the 1970s show the thin layers of painting, articulated using scraffito. often completely abstract, other times with images as well as animals and birds emerging from the tangled lines, colours and floating designs.

A New Abstract Artist Emerges

Maqhubela was very successful, however the difficulties that he and his family had to face during the apartheid regime in South Africa proved too great for Maqhubela and his family. They relocated to Ibiza on the Spanish island Ibiza in 1973 before settling in London in 1978.

He was a student at Goldsmiths College (1984-85) and the Slade School of Art (1985-88). In the Slade, Maqhubela was expose to printmaking , and in 1986. He made an entire series of etchings which represent the most significant of his work. The artist continued to display regularly across South Africa, in group and solo exhibitions. And was feature prominently within Esme Berman’s book The Story of South African Painting (1975).

Invigorated by his new surroundings and the work of artists like Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. As well as John McLean, Maqhubela’s work began to become more abstract.

A visit in South Africa in 1994 to feel the joy of liberation that came with the country’s first democratic elections. And then in 2001 for medical attention and a profound influence on Maqhubela. It gave new energy to his work, which brought technological and thematic changes.

19 Jan

Arts Heal And Galvanise Venue The Youth Of Timor Leste

Quirky is a way to describe this art venue The Lonely Planet about Arte Moris. However, Arte Moris (or Living Art) is more than just an art gallery and a fine arts college.

The center was established in 2003. The center provides a space for children Timorese to express themselves through art. While aiding them in sharing positive attitudes about their country. Famous freedom fighters posters, which are most popular among the youngsters. Such as the ones from Che Guevara as well as Bob Marley, surround teenagers who visit to learn. About the art of creating such as murals, sculptures canvas prints and more.

It was initially a concept of Swiss artist Luca Gansser and his wife, Gabriela Gansser. With the help of a group of youngsters, Arte Moris has slowly transformed. Into a highly-regarded and a unique art center within the nation. Since the beginning of its existence, Arte Moris was awarded. The UN Human Rights prize for its advocacy for free expression.

However, Arte Moris’ aim is not only to support the arts. It hopes to aid East Timorese people rebuild their lives following the bloody conflict for independence of one of the newest nations, which was established on the 20th of May, 2002.

Violence in Timor Leste Venue

The Southeast Asian island was first colonized by the Portuguese in 1515. The country gained its autonomy from Portugal in November 1975 thanks to the Revolutionary Front of an Independent East Timor (Fretilin). It only last for just nine days before it was invade by Indonesian military.

The country was still under occupation until the 30th of August 1999 the day that an referendum on independence resulted in 78.5 percent of East Timorese people vote for independence from Indonesia. The result was a flurry of violent protests by Indonesian-friendly groups that needed an intervention by UN peacekeepers.

This led to the creation of the establishment of a UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) from 1999 until 2002, after which Timor Leste restored full independence.

The bloody fight against Indonesian occupation led to the bringing of East Timorese and East Timorese together. However, a conflict between the military and the political was trigger in 2006 when soldiers were fire.

The conflict escalated into series of fighting between soldiers, the army, police soldiers, urban youth and soldiers, including the killing of over 100 in 2006, and over 150,000 people displaced. The crisis highlighted a profound tension between the elderly and younger generations within the state.

Youth In Crisis Venue

Timor Leste has one of the largest populations of young people around the globe. The rapid growth of its population has brought attention to the state of affairs and situation of the young in the country.

According to an article from 2007 in the World Bank report titled Timor Leste’s Youth in Crisis: Situational Analysis and Policy Options The involvement of young people in violence across the country was among the most prominent aspects of the current crisis. Generation gap has become a major aspect of the current political discourse of Timor Leste.

Two generations were witness to the country’s long fight to gain independence. The first generation is known as the Generation of 99 or Geracao Foun born during the period of Indonesian occupation. Some of them were elect as leaders of the nation in the 1990s and 1980s. They are different from Generation of 75 who are older Portuguese-speaking leaders who majority rule the government.

The communities are often discordant over specific issues. However, their relationships are vital in the transmission of values of culture and the social cohesion of the country.

Timor-Leste’s youth face the lack of employment opportunities and the rate of poverty ) is still high at 41.8 percent. The promise of independence seems distant as the basic rights like education, job opportunities and the right to vote are not yet fully realize.

Murals To Promote Peace Venue

The population from Timor Leste has been so traumatize by the recent venue events that they’ve taken to the practice of venting in the public spaces. Some parts of the capital city of the nation Dili appear to be an art museum in the open air.

In 2006, after recognizing that murals and graffiti had become among the most accessible ways to communicate across our country Nobel award-winning president José Ramos Horta and a variety of NGO’s asked artists to paint walls throughout the country to transmit messages of unity in the nation and peace. Graffiti and murals have become a prominent in the cityscape. Arts allow young people to protest against the political and legal authority in the country.

Many of the artists hail of the Generation that was 99 and were evict following the independence of 2002. They are seeking to affirm their participation in the struggle against Indonesia and also to remind the younger generation of their past while participating in debates about post-independence identity.

Art Collective Gembel Art Collective

Gembel Art Collective Gembel Art Collective is another initiative of this kind, which found in 2003, just like Arte Moris. Gembel Art offers free arts classes, and is also planning for music, theatre along with traditional performance. Like Arte Moris, its classes and spaces are available to everyone.

Artists, such as those affiliated to Arte Moris or Gembel Art Collective are also active in human rights concerns. This includes fighting for the right to land as well as discovering the children who were disappear during the Indonesian occupation. An estimate 4000 children were secretly transport to Indonesia between 1975 and 1999.

The artists express their discontent and discontent with government policies like the absence of jobs for young people. They can also be a part of initiatives, like those of the Hands Off Timor Oil initiative in conjunction together with the government. With the help of the arts they inspire people to consider the issues that affect their country.

19 Jan

Sydney Festival Boycott Arts Organisations Accept Donations

The Sydney Festival opens today under the shadow of a cloud. A number of artists and art organizations have pulled out of the festival because of the Israeli Embassy’s support of the dance piece Deca dance, created by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin.

The thing that is most interesting the amount of sponsorship being discuss. The amount of $20,000 is not much in comparison to the overall budget of the festival. What was the reason, then, that the festival sign the agreement on funding for Deca dance in light of the budget size and the possibility of community reactions?

It’s true that it’s common to have a festival that invites the participation of an artist from a different nation, to the nation of origin to provide financial assistance for the project. They do this as they believe that there is the benefits of their culture being showcase globally.

Some critics have pointed out that this particular financing arrangement serves to art wash the Israeli regime’s violent control over the lives of Palestinians. This isn’t an isolated event, but is part of a larger debate about sources of funding for the arts. If an arts organization accepts donations from donors, there’s always a cost to paid. It’s all about how much.

Does A Donation Have To Be Free?

Sometimes, arts organizations show some strange lack of confidence when they ask for or receiving donations. It’s like the donation is worth more than its actual value. Sure, the government funders and other bodies like Creative Partnerships Australia provide rewards like matched funding to arts organizations in exchange for private donations.

Additionally it is the norm for government that art organizations must seek external funders in order to justify government funding. A minister for the arts in recent times, George Brandis, threatened in 2014 that if organizations for the arts or artists refused private donations, they would be barre from receiving grants from the government.

However the person who is the donor of the money, in this case, that is the Israeli Embassy, claims it’s not about politics. Culture is a bridge that can lead to cooperation, coexistence and harmony, and must kept outside the realm of politics. Are there ever free donations? We can also separate the giver from their brand or previous actions?

Protests Held In The Past Against Arts Festival Sponsorship

There was a furore at this year’s Sydney Biennale about an art sponsor, Transfield, and its association with offshore asylum seeker processing centers. This did not go well for either of the parties, both parties suffering from bad press, and then breaking off ties.

In December 2021, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York finally removed the Sackler name from its seven exhibition spaces, due to their family’s involvement in the production of the drug at the center of the US opioid crisis, OxyContin. The museum’s board seemed to take this decision with a sigh. And thanked them for their kind donations, despite the chaos caused by their substance.

It was report that the Fringe World festival in Perth was the subject of a protest in 2020 over. Signing a huge sponsorship deal with the fossil energy giant Woodside after which it later in the same year. Requiring that performers not do any act or omit to do any act. That would prejudice any of Fringe World’s sponsorship arrangements.

Artists Put In A Challenging Situation Festival

Artists are constantly searching for funds to create their work. But it is the art world that stood and retracted their labor in this year’s Sydney Biennale. The artists protested against the sponsorship of Fringe World. Fringe World festival, and it is again the artists protesting and removing their participation in 2022’s Sydney Festival.

When artists speak out against the funding sources for their work They are usually portray as brats. Who are ungrateful rather than those who stand in support of their beliefs

Artists are among the poorest members of our society, yet they are willing to sacrifice. Their income in order to help fellow artists from other nations such as Palestine. This is not intend to be an attack on artists from Israel such as the dancers. Who are part of Deca dance and the like, but rather a criticism of their government.

Arts organizations aren’t separate from politics or life. Arts and cultural practices in general aren’t free of any political affiliation or connections. Countries around the globe utilize culture and the arts to express. Their opinions or project an image that is more positive of their cultural practices.

It’s real that, as the Israeli Embassy has stated that culture and the arts. Serve as a bridge to build greater understanding of culture. However, the protesters will argue that cultural or artistic practices can be used to promote. The agenda of a cultural or political organization which is why the accusations that they are art washing.