WORDS Palesa Kgasane IMAGES courtesy of BKhz gallery
A dynamic group of artists from multiple disciplines across the creative spectrum were challenged to share the re-imagining of their habitats, as they adapt to new processes of making and exhibiting their work, for online exhibition Habit at.
As the world changes, isolation takes centre stage and viewers’ experiences of art have become confined to the digital space. How do artists express themselves during this new self-reflexive zeitgeist and what happens to our understanding of the creator’s habitat? It is these questions that this exhibition seeks to answer by bringing the viewer closer to the artist’s world, to observe their process and how changing habitat has played a role in re-imagining their work in a shifting society.
The online exhibition features a virtual 3D display of work from 13 artists, including Thebe Magugu, Wonder Buhle, Sarah Walmsley, Jodi Bieber, Cole Ndelu, Lunga Ntila and Earl Abrahams. Through the eyes of the artists, whose work ranges from painting to sculpture, we are invited not only to view their work, but also their thoughts on navigating the art world as it is today. “I currently don’t have a permanent studio, but I make it work with a table and the tools of the trade,’’ reflects one artist Katlego Tlabela, whose paintings depict his home, including a striking piece featuring the expansive collection of books written by black authors.
Personal reflections on today’s changing world are touched on by artist Cow Mash, who says, “I would encourage that even though we are adapting and transforming rapidly with the world, it’s important that we preserve and archive the things we grew up knowing…’’
On creating, photographer Earl Abrahams shares, “…realise that your perspective; your lens through which you view the world matters.’’ Like many artists do today, Jodi Bieber shared work on Instagram and reflects on the experience saying, “somehow creating this project and placing it on Instagram with a response of gratefulness and laughter… brings me joy and some form of stillness.’’
It is the combination of intimate self-reflections and the digitised artworks that lends to Habit at’s universality, a representation of today and the human hope that tomorrow will bring forth something better.
The Habit at exhibition can be viewed online at BKhz gallery until 20 July 2020.