WATCH: Zeitz Mocca gives platform to local artists

A piece by Ledelle Moe of Woodstock.
The Home Is Where The Art Is: Art Is Where The Home Is, marks the official reopening of the Zeitz MOCAA on Wednesday October 22. Video: Karen Watkins

Zeitz Mocaa is putting local artists at centre stage with an exhibition of their work.

The call went out in September for Capetonians to submit works of art that brought a sense of joy during the months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Home Is Where The Art Is: Art Is Where The Home Is, marks the reopening of the Zeitz MOCAA after seven months of closure due to lockdown.

At the opening on Wednesday October 22, Liesl Hartman, one of the curators of the exhibition, says over 2 000 pieces were submitted from 1 600 artists. 

“Some artists made a drawing a day….everything was included and everyone was treated alike,” says Ms Hartman.  

Zeitz Mocaa partnered with art organisations as drop-off points, Stellenbosch, Khayelitsha, Muizenberg, Hout Bay, Gugulethu and the museum in the V&A Waterfront.

Head of Tygerberg Art Centre, Fransonette Swart, says they took about 70 enrolments. 

“The wearing of the masks made people less responsive than usual but those who recognised each other had short conversations,” she says.

Ms Swart submitted a painting of her son Rikus that she painted from a photo taken on holiday in Agulhas when he was 17 years old. “We’d spent the day outdoors and his skin had a glow, enhanced by the late afternoon sun. He was sitting on the wall, staring at the sea wearing his turquoise cap,” said Ms Swart.

She says the Zeitz Mocca exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity. “It never crossed my mind having an artwork on display in such a famous place. And I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” she said.

Ms Hartman says a team of curators put the exhibition together in two weeks dividing them into themes of time, people (the largest), insight, outside and garden.

Accountant Cornél Botha of Durbanville has two pieces on display, Beterbestebotha, an acrylic on canvas painting of her husband and another of her son Michael, called Wednesday’s Child. 

“For a brief time, I can pretend to be a world-renowned artist,” says Ms Botha.

Fine artist Claude Chandler of Observatory has a self-portrait of himself in his painting uniform, titled Suit Up. 

He manages an artist studio in Salt River called SideTrack Studios where seven of the artists entered work for the show. The group visited the museum together. 

Julien Ntamakemwa of Parow will be visiting the museum regularly to see the reaction on people’s faces when they view a portrait from his “ME||WE” series. Mr Ntamakemwa is studying commerce at University of Western Cape.

Woodstock artist Ledelle Moe says she’s delighted to have her work at the museum. “And to be a part of this radically inclusive show. This piece was a study for a larger work I made for a solo exhibition that is currently up at Mass MoCA in America,” says Ms Moe.

Kirsten Arendse from Kuilsriver entered a mixed media piece, Rafel Uit, saying it’s one of her difficult creations, mentally and physically. “I’m very critical about my work, so participating in this exhibition was literally a leap of faith. I’m so glad that I took this jump,” she says.

Ms Arendse, who is a marketing and communications manager, says she can’t wait to view her work at the museum.

Hlumelo Kakaza, 19, of Kuils River has an upcycled bag named “sunlight droplets”. She plans to take a taxi to the museum to see the artwork. She’s excited about the concept of the exhibition and feels it will spawn and inspire many artists to continue doing what they love doing.>> 

At the launch, speaking from Switzerland, Zeitz Mocaa executive director Koyo Kouoh, said, “This exhibition is our way of thanking everyone for their support. It is an opportunity to celebrate the strength, unity and spirit of individuals throughout this difficult time,”

The exhibition is open from Thursday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm, until Sunday January 10, 2021. For more information visit their website, email muesum.aacomztiez@snoissimbus, or call 087 350 4777.