In the main gallery is "Hide, Hair, History", with new work by Dutch artist Dagmar de Kok, who worked last year in Durban to create these extraordinary ceramics.
On the Mezzanine is "Ang'lahli - I am not waste" by Sibonelo Chiliza.
In the Park Contemporary we present a memorial exhibition to honour Isaac Sithole.
There is a thread that runs through these three exhibitions - African heritage, cosmology and traditional knowledge systems.
In an increasingly globalised world, the notion of the global village has become a buzz word that purports to offer us - citizens of the world - the prosperity and spoils, fruits if you will, of the earth's recourses, equally and equitably.
In reality within our global culture of acquisition (as opposed to inquisition) we are cornered by our desires into de-personalising our cultural identity.
We are socialised into believing that our pursuit of global branding and identity makes us citizens of the world. Our status and perhaps even our self-esteem and self-worth are determined by our relationship to the world's most valuable brands. Gratuitous and conspicuous consumption disempowers us, making us vulnerable. The deep rivers of our cultural history and heritage are silenced by our desire to conform.
Real culture is real freedom.
These exhibitions are unapologetically African.
Dagmar de Kok explores South African fairy tales, she notes that: "...Because of current developments and the ‘fast' (food and fashion) culture, people no longer have the opportunity to dig deeper; they don't really listen to the message the other person wants to convey, they often look superficially and don't reach any underlying meaning."
de Kok draws attention to the conservation, importance, and also development of art and culture in our global society.
Sibonelo Chiliza with ‘Ang'lahli' - ‘I am not waste' reminds us that the faces of ordinary citizens entitled ‘Parents', are the custodians of indigenous endangered flora that has little to do with the desire for bling; its no surprise that they look more than somewhat worried. The inclusion of an exquisitely rendered graphite portrait of a shack toilet raise serious questions as to how our current dispensation reflects cultural identities in the face of the dream of the rainbow nation.
We record with great sadness the passing in February of Isaac Sithole. This prolific artist offers us a celebration of African everyday culture. Isaac once said... "I am inspired by the beauty in the ordinary, to transform the spirit of the living into art."
Inspired by daily and cultural events in the lives of village people, Isaac is sensitive to cultural and historical events such as the floods in Mozambique. His works are populated by animals and people in vibrant colours and flowing motions.
KZNSA Gallery Curator.