Changing The Narrative: Mashumi Art Thrusting the Spotlight on Painters of Our Time

Changing The Narrative: Mashumi Art Thrusting the Spotlight on Painters of Our Time

By BA Staff

Although people appreciate it in different ways art has over centuries been used to articulate and express important moments in a peoples history. It has been used to reflect and express ideas, thought, moods, beliefs, and spirits of a people or a generation in time and space. Over and above its symbolism and the intrinsic value in it art has, as an age-old phenomenon, had a profound impact on the world’s social and emotional growth and wellbeing.

It therefore goes without question that artists bear an immeasurably important role in our lives and bear a profound responsibility towards society: they have a responsibility towards society, their local communities, and the world at large. They have a responsibility to document and reflect existing human circumstances and conditions. They are a vehicle of expressing collective emotions and responsible for unearthing the truth. However, this responsibility goes further: artists must connect with the people and inspire. They are a vehicle for messages of hope. Art and the artists who create it are therefore crucially important. This is one of the many reasons we treat (visual) art as an important facet of this platform and recognise those who play an important role (especially locally) in this realm.

We recently checked out an art exhibition titled Painters Of Our Time that took place at Mashumi Art Projects – a dynamic and culturally inclined art gallery on 120 Main Reef Road, Benrose, Johannesburg.

(Zanele Mashumi giving an opening speech during the 1st edition of Painters Of Our Time: image by JazzyGee)

Founded by Zanele Mashumi an art curator, adviser, and consultant one of Mashumi Art Projects’ primary aims is to change the narrative around (visual) art by, amongst other things, making art accessible to the people and providing a platform to young, up and coming artists to showcase their artistic abilities and talents. Judging by what we witnessed on the day – it occurred to us that Mashumi Art Projects’ main focus is on artists or painters with a deep-seated yearning to tell authentically (South) African stories and circumstance. 

(Art lovers who attended on the evening on a walkabout and taking pictures of the paintings)

About the Painters Of Our Time exhibition Mahumi Art Projects on their website state the following:

“Painters of our time; is a series of exhibitions that will host the most distinguished painters of our generation.

Being an artist carries many responsibilities of capturing time, emotions and in addition making a statement in connection with the world. The artist’s work represents a direct translation of our period of time. Art reflects how we feel and this is the reason why it becomes an emotional sentimental value.

When we reflect on painters from previous generations, their work depicts images of their times and also the objects used to create an artwork. Art is an archival value that does not only leaves evidence, but also gives insight to understanding the creative technology and the thinking process of that period.

Painters of our time; is an exhibition to honour these artists that are still lighting the torch by giving us permission to engage with their view of the world and encouraging us to reflect back on it. Not only do we experience art differently, but it allows a moment in time to live forever through an artwork.”

For the 1st edition the exhibition features works by artists Nkosinathi Quwe, Banele Njadayi and Shakes Tembani. We count ourselves fortunate to have been invited at the launch of the 1st edition and to witness such a special and profound moment in space and time. On the launch evening Boschendal wine was served and fitting world music was curated by the Jazz Avenue act (made of talented spinners and world music curators Themba “Tha Jazzchild” Khumalo, Itumeleng “The Guru” Moloko, and Lesedi “SediSoul” Mphou).

We had an amazing experience on this special evening. At a time when telling authentically (South) African stories is essential and significant it is important that projects such as the Painters Of Our Time are supported in every way possible. We urge our readers to therefore make time to check out the exhibition (it is currently ongoing) and possibly buy some art and support our local artists and important platforms such as the Mashumi Art Projects. To view the works that are currently in exhibition and to make arrangements regarding visiting the gallery – please click on the links below. We also include imagery of some of the works currently in exhibition below. Word up!

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