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NATIONS ALPHABET (article first published : 2000-03-17)

Carved and painted panels have been compiled into sculptural boxes which have been transformed into works of art through their artistic and functional appeal. The intriguing and varied images of the boxes and block prints read like an A - Z of themes, as viewed and interpreted by marginalised youth in different communities.

With this exhibition, the Ipopeng Project clearly demonstrates that the therapeutic, educational and empowering role of art in the informal sector must be emphasised. Many governmental departments and institutions of learning are currently steering towards clearer outlines for the application of a national qualification framework and a national standards body. In the meantime, some art practitioners and NGO’s are already busy researching and applying workable solutions which in the current South African context cannot function without addressing and transforming past imbalances.

“There is a long way to go in extending an effective creative life, both individually and collectively and in developing new relationships between work and leisure,” reads the exhibition’s publicity material. “Visual literacy and creative education, as a continuous life-enhancing experience, must become increasingly available to all as an answer to personal fulfilment and social upliftment, because the alternatives are an apathetic or increasingly dispossessed and destructive society.”




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