Reflecting Forward: An exhibition exploring themes of redemption and renewal

Each artist has used human imagery to respond to personal concerns, reflecting on community life, past inequalities, and issues around gender. They use their art to find redemption and renewal
The artworks selected for this current exhibition are a variety of representations of the human figure, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional.  Each artist has found an individual way to use this subject to reflect on issues that impact their lives.  They are not simply looking back on memories or experiences but rather finding new ways to respond to contemporary life in South Africa. We live in a country that is heavy with history, and it is easy to be weighed down by our past and not consider a positive future. 
These four artists however capture what people are currently feeling, the issues that we as South Africans are grappling with and trying to come to terms with – what our past was, how we need to acknowledge it and work with it, and where we are now heading, the fact that changes are possible; thus these artists are reflecting forward.
Each artist has used human imagery to respond to personal concerns, reflecting on community life, past inequalities, and issues around gender. They use their art to find redemption and renewal.  While these artworks are drawn from personal experiences those who engage with them can bring their own interpretations based on shared reflections.  The artists are finding ways to express what many people are currently feeling and thinking, their artworks are a response to the relationship between the past and the present and the need to find a new way of seeing the future.
Andrew Ntshabele explores new compositional elements in his latest series of works, which showcases large figurative works painted onto collaged substrates compiled from vintage documents, music scores, books, and newspapers. His works respond to his personal experiences of family and community dealing with the realities of a country that can never quite ignore its past. The history of colonialism and apartheid can never be forgotten or ignored but it does not have to control the future and it is possible to find a new way to live.
Morgan Mahape has a unique way of creating images out of beads to reflect people in the African community. Each bead represents an individual in the community and when strung together forms images of people going about their daily lives. The images in this exhibition are of children from his community and are filled with a sense of joy and expectation.   These children offer the opportunity to reflect on the potential and hope for the future.
Fathema Bemath mixed media sculptures challenge stereotypes of femininity and the brown body. Fathima addresses past perceptions, when women of colour were treated as inferior, reinforcing the stereotype of the subserviency. Her sculptures create an opportunity to see a new future where women of colour are celebrated, and the female form is not something defined by men for men. Her works reflect on the fact that women can embrace all aspects of their identity for themselves.
Restone Maambo`s artworks are an exploration of the physical body in a specific space. Through reflecting on his relationship with his mother, Restone acknowledges a strong appreciation for women through his artworks. He often paints women in what appears to be a spiritual, meditative state. His artworks are mixed media, layered with paints, varnish, and collage, combined in unexpected ways. The process of creating his works, becomes content for exploring themes of diversity, fragmentation, and restoration. It is not Restone’s intention to explain his works in detail, but to rather engage the viewer in reflection, to create individual interpretations of the feminine psyche.