On the 28th February (Thursday last week) I had the great pleasure of attending the opening night of an exhibition by a Cape Town based artist, Dathini Mzayiya. The exhibition entitled “Onder die reenboog strale”, which can be translated to “Under the rainbow rays” in English, explores the link between politics and art. Dathini’s work looks at post-apartheid South Africa and poses powerful questions on why our society is the way it is. The drawings are unframed with rough edges and in some of his drawings he uses charcoal and newspaper headlines to paint a picture of ordinary people’s lives post apartheid in South Africa. The works are very powerful and allow us to think deeply about post apartheid South Africa.
The exhibition kicked off with a beautiful live performance of freedom songs, then Professor Premesh Lalu (Professor at the University of the Western Cape) opened the show with a speech, stating his thoughts about Dathini’s work. He described Dathini’s work “as larger than life” . He also said “We are bound to speak about them(Dathini’s work) for many years to come. In part because we are compelled to and because they are an in-escapable part of the history of the present”. Throughout the night we were entertained by the sultry and soulful sounds of the Jazz Duo: Nicholas Williams (piano) and Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet).
The exhibition runs from 28 February till 15 March, at the Greatmore studios in Woodstock, from 10am – 16:30 pm (Mon – Fri) free of charge. If you are a lover of art and politics, be sure to check this exhibition out.
Photographs courtesy of Justin Davy for Greatmore Studios.