I had been waiting for this exhibition for weeks. No I lie, I had been waiting for exhibition from the very first time I saw Thato Mohuba’s photography – so that makes it three years (give or take).
So you can imagine my disappointment when the sterring of the entire thing (Thato Mohuba) was stuck in Spain on the day. He called me on the day of and I could hear the sadness in his voice from 8371.54 kilometres away.
It would have been an epic culmination of events for him, being his first exhibition and his birthday. But it was still a great day and other artists/photographers got to show off their work in any case.
The venue was The Mills in Newtown – it had a very stripped down, industrial feel to it. What added to this was the paint fumes or rather spray paint fumes that were coming from the graffiti artists live tagging. Of the two murals that were made I liked this one, done by a tagger called Lee.
Along with the taggers, DJ’s were also in the mix setting the mood. There was also a bar to keep people hydrated. Of the entertainment on offer, I most enjoyed a poem that was recited by aspiring poet, Naledi. She said that the poem was about a race – something which occupies the South African psyche 99% of the time. I made the video black and white, to coincide with the content of her poem.
I really liked the venue and how they went about hanging the photographers prints. They were unavoidable and asked to be looked at, really looked at from the very moment I walked in.
The photographs were hung on wire with pegs and this created a minimalist feeling, which to me communicated that the photographs being exhibited were of extreme import. That they needn’t be overshadowed by fancy frames for instance. The hanging prints were in themselves artistically placed by so doing.
I was intrigued by the variety of images put up. I don’t know if there was a discerning theme connected to what each individual photographer captured and I don’t even think that matters. Most of the photographs I saw were powerful enough to just stand on their own – I didn’t yearn for continuity in that sense.
I walked around quite a few times trying to decide what I wanted to buy most. Mind you I had to beg my parents for money so I could show my support by buying a print. Student budget aside, the pricing was very reasonable, more than even. If I had more money in my life I would have bought more than one print.
Finally decided on a photograph taken by Thato Sehlabela of this city that I love. It is one of those timeless images, that will form a part of some of my most valued belongings in life. I literally cannot wait to get it framed and hang it up in my future flat or house (whichever comes first). I can’t wait to look at it everyday and smile at random memories.
Before this gets boring, I must say that it was really refreshing and inspiring to see young people coming together to help one another realise their personal (and collective) dreams. Gathering their rosebuds you know?
(All photo’s and video in this post taken by me).