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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE OTHER SIDE OF ME (article first published : 2008-02-22)

The other side of me is an exhibition running in the BAT Centre’s Democratic Gallery by Busi Zulu and Nonthuthuko Mngomezulu, two local artists who have recently completed their Diploma in Fine Art at the Durban University of Technology.

“Even though both artists are women, their exhibitions differ greatly in terms of concepts and working material,” says BAT Curator Njabulo Mtshali. “The creativity and genius of both Zulu and Mngomezulu becomes obvious when one sees the works in real life. The two artist attempt to reveal certain parts their lives. For an example, they use their own figures to understand the other side of themselves.

Busi Zulu’s choice of medium is photography and drawing. My concept is about interrogating the worldwide norms based on the meaning of the word access, mostly towards women of different races and cultures,” she explains. “Throughout history, women have been prohibited a way in or access in terms of getting proper education, employment, visibility, pro-activity and recognition. During western periods, they were seen as pleasure objects and household trophies. This also happened in Africa and still happens nowadays. I have observed the effects of such activities both negatively and positively, using my life experiences, history of the African Diaspora, colonization and the divine privileges that we as women have. Like giving birth and introducing a new soul to the world that is full of access denial towards women.”

Clay and mixmedia is the choice of medium for Nonthuthuko Mngomezulu. “In my work I deal with the notion of fear. The fear caused by the unknown,” she explains. “My work explores aspects of fear which isolate the individual by emphasizing space and the small figures with in it. In articulated formal and conceptual elements by exploring the relationship between the figures on the background to articulate the emotional world around the figure. Colour plays a big role in my work where it is layered to create a surface where the figure can exist. I use my own image because it allows me to use personal experience as a platform for the universal. In those works where I’ve used monochromatic colours I am trying to articulate the fact that I am referencing emotions experienced by others.

The other side of me runs in the BAT Centre’s Democratic Gallery until March 1. More information from BAT Curator Njabulo Mtshali on 031 332 0451.




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