By Ntokozo Mayekiso
This article can also be found in the print Edition 3 (Wrap Edition) of VARSITY Newspaper.
The UCT Works of Art committee helps evoke transformation through art at UCT.
On Thursday 12 April, there was an unveiling of new art in the Molly Blackburn Hall, near the Chancellor Oppenheimer library. The exhibition included performances by the UCT Choir as well as dance performances by students from the UCT School of Dance. The speakers present at the exhibition, included Dr. Nomusa Mokhubu (a lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture), and O’Refi loe Mashope, (a third-year sculpture student in the School of Fine Art).
In finding out more about the significance of the exhibition and its contributors, VARSITY spoke to the project co-ordinator of the UCT Works of Arts Committee (WOAC), Nadja Daenke. According to Daenke, the WOAC committee, is made up of both staff and students from various departments at UCT (including Engineering and the Built Environment and Fine Art), as well as curators and directors of UCT’s Michaelis Galleries and Irma Stern Museum. WOAC (alongside other projects), works on producing re-hangings of art pieces around UCT, with the intention of eliciting conversations around art on campus as well as “embracing change and transformation in art”. When asked about the planning of this particular project, Daenke stipulates that the project in Molly Blackburn began in January of this year. Daenke also states that the art displayed in the exhibition was produced by South African artists.
The art centres around the celebration of empowerment, which was echoed by the dance performances that took place; “The dance piece, as well as the choir and the artwork in the hall, allow for new memories and new ways of ‘being’ to be formed. The dance piece also spoke strongly about an empowerment of women”, comments Daenke. She also highlights a particular piece included in the display by Bongi Bengi (titled Tribute 11) which was also a source of inspiration for the theme.
In concluding the interview, VARSITY also asked whether or not there would be any future art exhibitions by WOAC to which Daenke commented that “the recuration of the Molly Blackburn Hall was just the first of many rehangings of art at UCT and [students should] look out for other changes in numerous other spaces on campus”.