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TIES THAT BIND (article first published : 2004-04-21)

A multimedia exhibition entitled Ties That Bind is being held at the Durban Art Gallery from April 29 to co-incide with the SA Association of Marital and Family Therapy to be held at the ICC in May.

Curated by DAG Director, Carol Brown, the exhibition examines issues of identity and relationships in a post-apartheid South Africa. It attempts to address some of the more controversial and socially complex issues which galleries have tended historically to shy away from – including the many contemporary variations on what was a traditional nuclear family which circumstance and a changing context have altered. Cross-cultural, multigenerational and same-sex families are looked at.

"Much has changed in a post-Apartheid South Africa but much has remained the same,” says Carol Brown. “We are still a country with ancient rituals and traditions and a way of life which hasn’t changed for centuries. We are also a country with excitement, vibrancy and cities that are equal to any in the world. Our art reflects these dichotomies where the traditional skills such as bead-making are used to reflect contemporary social issues. The impetus for this exhibition initially arose from an examination of family relationships and led to the broader theme of Ties that Bind in acknowledgement of the multiplicity of relationships which draw people together,"

Among the artists to be exhibited are art-photogarphers Val Adamson; Angie Buckland; Terry Kurgan; Omar Badsha and Roger Ballen and beadmakers Lobolie Ximba, Hluphekile Zuma and Bonganani Ximba. Bibilical references through art are provided by Johannes Segogela and Bafana Mkhize. Acknowledgement of the ancestors is seen in the works of Zamani Makhanya and Sfiso Ka-Mkame.

Memory is one of the most powerful forces in links to family, ancestors and in giving a sense of belonging. New exhibitor, Mamatakene Makare’s Memory installation constructs a family album of memories in clay. The impact of enforced separation through the Group Areas Act can be seen in the work of Gabisile Nkosi and Sandile Goje, while Ian Van Coller explores the relationship between nanny and child. Val Adamson and Jean Brundit further explore new family units looking at same-gender parents and multi-cultural families.

A comprehensive catalogue will be available. Ties that Bind runs from April 29 at the Durban Art Gallery in Durban’s City Hall. Entry is free and all are welcome.




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