Monday, February 22, 2010

!Xun Artist: Katala Flai Shipipa

The Kalk Bay Modern is proud to be presenting Broken Arrow, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, lino prints and beaded embroideries created by artists from San communities from South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

Cheryl Rumbak (KBM director) is passionate about the San and, as has been discussed in previous blogs, has worked with them extensively through art and upliftment projects. She has also exhibited their work on a number of occasions and next Wednesday the KBM will have the pleasure of presenting work from a number of different groups including the remarkable Kuru Art Project.

[Click on the link below to visit their homepage]

Over the next few days I will be exploring the work on the !Xun and Khwe from !Xun and Khwe Cultural Project in Schmidtsdrift founded by Catharina Scheepers-Meyer and now managed by Marlene Sullivan Winberg.
There are two truly beautiful books documenting the work and artists of this project which will be for sale at the gallery from Wednesday. They are My Eland’s Heart and Memory and Magic.

[Click on the link below to read extracts from My Eland’s Heart on The Kalahari People’s Network] 

To whet your appetite, today I’ll be posting an extraordinary painting by the !Xun artist Katala Flai Shipipa. It is entitled Firemaker (painted in 2000, 1120mm x 820mm).

 Flai, as he signs his work, is not only an extraordinary painter but is also a storyteller. Five stories appear in the back of Memory and Magic that he relates from the old life, before westernization, remnants of the San oral tradition. The book contains an interview with each artist but as most of them speak no English, a translator was required. The young man in question was Flai’s grandson Joaquin. 

During the interview Flai suddenly started telling these ancient tales, stories that had been handed down through families for generations. Joaquin had never heard these stories – as Flai himself had said earlier in the interview, “The old stories are quiet now.” 

It seems quite possible that without the creative encouragement and support of this project, these stories may have died with Flai never to be heard by his grandchildren or anyone else. 

Broken Arrow opens on Wednesday 24 a 6:00 PM and will be opened by Nicholaas Maritz. It runs until 31 March 2010 and is really not a show to be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment