An exhibition currently on display at the John Muafangejo Art Centre by Kenyan artists Ray Piwi Ochieng Olewe aims to explore different ways in which environmental factors have impacted Africa.
Olewe has been visiting Namibia for a period of over two months in which he visited both rural and urban Namibia creating dialogue over the impact of environmental crises in Namibia. The exhibition features site-related and generic photographs sourced in Namibia.
Using the medium of photography the artist has managed to showcase not only how we, as a people, interact with the environment but also how it reacts to our actions.
The first image is one that shows what looks like it used to be a manmade resting place for shade that has long been abandoned and left to the mercy of the elements as the green net flows in the wind.
One of the images that captures the eye is one of a cut down palm tree with a bottle containing fresh milk hanging off it. The image is captured at what appears to be late afternoon, with the perfect range of orange and red to make the tree stand out against its background.
A self-portrait of the artist shows him standing at a rocky cliff looking down on eroded chunks of the same cliff, symbolically showing how the shadow of our actions are still evident on the environment even in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.
Those familiar with the Windhoek City landscape will recognise the image of the Gustav Voight Building with the road right next to it pictured during sunset, showing how the constant growth of high rise buildings is prohibiting us from seeing the beauty that is the Namibian sunset.
The final images in the exhibition are from a series titled “Tendencies 1 - 4”. This series shows a young lady with what appears to be a mop strapped to her back. She is doing a range of activities that appear to be hampered by the presence of the mop.
In his artist statement Olewe expresses that “Focus on the interplay between natural resources, capitalism and Africanism, and their impact on life in Africa today.”
The exhibition will be on display from the 30th of August to the 16th of September at the John Muafangejo Art Centre situated at the Craft Centre in Tal Street.