Friday, February 17, 2017

My first ART experience at the CTAF17

I have a confession to make, I HAVE JUST FALLEN IN LOVE WITH ART.

These are words I never thought will one day come out of my mouth. In the past, I have received plenty of invitations from people to go see an ‘art exhibition’ or go to the ‘museum’ to check out on the latest exhibitions. I have always declined with the common excuse ‘I can’t make it, something came up’, until this invitation came through last month.

I have recently tapped into lifestyle writing, with a key focus in theatre and arts. The nice thing about being on the database is that you get to receive invites to the ‘not so cool’ events. Tell you what? That was my thinking before I set foot at the CTICC on a Thursday evening to what I anticipated to would-have-been the atrocious experience. The event started at 18:00 and went on until 21:00. In the first two hours, my friend and I_ who I had invited as my plus one_ were viewing, critiquing and laughing trying, by all means, to interpret the art without any success. Our comments included ‘aaah this is too bright’, ‘the colours just do not work well together’, ‘oh this looks like it was done by little-bored kids’ and ‘okay this is just too expensive and it’s no art’. Little did I know, that I would stumble upon a piece so beautiful it almost made me shed a tear.

It was exactly at 20:33 when I laid my eyes on Nicola Roos’s No Man's Land V. I stood there with my mouth open for about 10 minutes admiring this fascinating piece of art. A woman on my left, who witnessed this whole episode approached me and told me to close my mouth. I had no idea it was open, I was simply just taken by the amazing work of Nicola. The artist is a 22-year-old final year student at Michaelis School of Fine Arts, it took her two months to complete this amazing art (see pictures below) and it was done in between her studying and exam preparations.

Just look at that, amazing right? 

The Front: Mind blowing... No Man's Land V 

The Back: Still blown away 

I had to take all angles, I couldn't believe it. 

Just look at that detailing. Proper stuff 

Something about her piece touched my heart, the fact that it’s made out of tyres and rubber, the detailing, the attire hit closer to home. In the art, I saw our African black and strong men. I assumed the piece was done by a man or at least if by a woman, a masculine one. The woman who shared in the admiration tapped me on a shoulder to show me who the artist was_ to my shock it was a beautiful and very humble Nicola. I got a chance to ask her about the reason behind her work. When she explained it all made sense, the love was doubled, I felt tingles and gooses all over my body.

No Man's Land V  as explained by Nicola; “is the migrant rather than the colonist, re-territorialising a vast mental no man’s land that stretches from Africa to the Far East instead of participating in a conquest to reclaim an extraneous (home)land. Laden with the weight of his costume of inner tyre tubes – possibly one of the last tangible vestiges of colonial cruelty as it was exemplified on the rubber plantations of Africa – Yasuke destabilises notions of authentic cultural origin and practice that, in the colonial mind, were fixed in place and time. In this turbulent socio-political climate, Yasuke becomes the border between the colonial past and the de-colonial future. His diasporic indigeneity restores a sense of common cause in a transitional time when the need of this country truly is most dire.” 

Here stands the woman whose work stole my heart, Nicola Roos.

When I accepted the invitation to the ART Fair I was simply going because it was FREE. I was like those who attend weddings and funerals for the food I had no idea that today at this very moment I’d be penning down my experience and the newly found love of ART.

Look out for the full interview with Nicola Roos in the coming weeks.