Celebrating Namibian Printmaking

This exhibition was launched to coincide with the 26th independence celebrations of Namibia as a way of celebrating the art of printmaking in Namibia over the last 26 years, the exhibition ran as from the  March 22 to the  of April 16  2016.
The different forms of printmaking are showcased for example Cardboard, wood cut and serigraph printing. The show included artists such as David Amukoto, Kaleb Haipinge, Trudi Dicks and Petrus Amuthenu.
Upon entry of the upper level gallery my eyes where pulled in different directions by all the amazing pieces that hang on the wall, after making up my mind and choosing to start with the piece closest to the door way I find that it’s a wonderfully bright piece by Shiya Karuseb titled “Black Afrika- Mama Afrika” the art piece features prominent colours such as black and sunset orange. A similar piece is by Samuel Mbingilo titled “Different colour- one unity- one culture”. This artwork showcases a great example of cardboard print. This piece shows masked faces of different people with different expressions. With no concise colour choice the variety works wonders in representing Africa in all her different diversity in both pieces.
The next piece also by Karuseb is titled “All Nations” featuring different faces with black and white being the most prominent colours. The faces are in different shades of black and white used to represent the different peoples of Namibia and their ability to unite under the new government.
Two pieces later I find myself face to face with a piece by Joseph Madisia titled “Worshipping with an African identity”. The screen printing piece shows 3 people dressed in African attire kneeled with their heads bowed towards what appears to be a fire. Above the fire is a flock of white doves and in the distant land one can see some animals that appear to be grazing in the field. The animals include what appears to be a Rhino, lion, giraffe and tortoise.
Next piece to get my attention is a piece by the legendary John Muafangejo, titled “Two Sisters Room” done using the Linocut method. The prominent characters in the piece are two sisters standing in a door way to what appears to be a house, in the left hand corner is a man who appears to be exiting a car while the two sisters stare each other down in the supposed door way. It is a beautiful piece that has a story to tell depending on one’s perspective and understanding of the art form.
Right next to it is a piece done in shades of blue titled “African Rebirth” by Herman Mbamba. The piece features two spheres with the top one seeming to be Africa still in the womb filed with ideas and aspirations showcased in the bright shades of blue. The second womb is darker and more sinister with dark bodies floating in limbo, with the amniotic fluid being darker in colour. The piece inspires feelings of despair and loss over the Africa that could’ve been.
Next to this piece is another one of Mbamab’s projects simple titled “Mama”. The piece shows three women with the first woman facing the observer on her head sits a stool like object were the second lady is seated facing her left, she also carries an object on her head were the third woman is seated facing the right. She too has an object on her head. This piece reminded me of the struggle that women go through while raising their children. The three objects on their heads can be described as the knowledge mothers pass on to their children.
The first women can be charged to be looking directly at the observer because she carries the pain and burden of seeing her children’s children forget their values and morals. So she looks on in dismay.
“Hooker” a piece by Dimitrios Spirou is beautiful and had me saying Wow and feeling the pain and emotion of the subject. The subject of the piece is looking at the observer while surrounded by different colours and objects that vary in size and texture.
The emotion on her face appears to be that of pain and agony this is emphasized by the use of pale colours used to create her face. Her body parts seem distorted and in disarray around her creating feelings of disillusion and pain.
The next piece by Trudi Dicks is titled “Dolosse Populnes” which took me back to days when childhood was bliss. It reminded me of a plant I used to play with as a child, the rattling sound of the seeds inside was bliss to my life.
A piece that hit home was by Elia Shiwoohamba titled “We are in problem”. The piece made in 2006 just when passion killing was becoming a national safety concern. The frame shows women who are sitting around in sorrow or crying, the pain shown in the piece is touching and heart wrenching. Words prominently shown are “Let’s love our lovers” words that one can only hope our generation will start to live by.
The exhibition ended last week and one can only hope for another chance to be able to see the wondrous works of John Muafangejo and Samuel Mbingilo.