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The People’s Art


Orms & Iziko Museums of South Africa collaborate

Iziko Museums of South Africa in partnership with Orms launched the People’s Project, on Women’s Day, 9 August. The project seeks to promote art by women artists, as well as to make art more accessible to the public, beyond the confines of the Gallery space.  Orms will showcase inspirational South African women artists work from the permanent collections of the Iziko South African National Gallery.  Every three months select artworks will be displayed on the street-facing shop front of the Orms Print Room, on the corner of Roeland Street.

The initiative will commence on the 9 of August, by showcasing a photographic piece by multi-disciplinary artist, Thania Petersen, titled Location 4: District Six.

According to Thania Petersen, “I think it is of utmost importance that the people of South Africa know that this collection belongs to them. It is theirs to enjoy and engage with. Most commuters don’t have the time nor space in their lives to see their very own art collection, which the curators at Iziko National Gallery work so hard to collect and preserve for them. It is wonderful that the work can now spill out onto the streets and into the public for All to see at any given time of day or night.”

Women in the development of art receive little recognition or access.  In recent years there have been smatterings of evolution yet the patriarchal rule still applies.  This is doubly true for female artists of colour.  Socio-economic factors may appear to have been solved with access to fellowships and scholarships being granted to many more artists of colour. Yet the brokerage of daily survival issues still remains arduous for too many. These factors, coupled with the fact that South African society does not regard the role of artists and the arts as vital to the development and transformation of a society and life.

“We are honoured to collaborate with Iziko to create greater access to art and promote the talent that exists in our country, ” says Mike Ormrod,  owner of Orms.

The artwork, Location 4: District Six is from the series “I am Royal,” which addresses particular historical and cultural issues around Cape Town. Through the selected image, the artist draws attention to one of the sites of forced removals in the 1950s. The now haunted empty space she stands in, once a thriving diverse neighbourhood, points to the enduring effects of apartheid and spatial segregation and the slow pace of redress and restitution. Contemporary trends such as gentrification exacerbate these issues ensuring that in 2018, Cape Town central remains unaffordable and inaccessible to the majority of its local residents.



Issued by:Tracey Heeger
Communications Coordinator:Iziko Museums of South Africa
Telephone:+27 (0) 21 481 3874        Cellphone: 082 403 0801 http:                  
On behalf of:Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa


About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Social History Centre and three collection specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and public benefit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope, Groot Constantia and Planetarium and Digital Dome). Visit our webpage at http:, join our online community on Facebook ( or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.


About Orms

From its beginnings as a photography gear and printing shop, Cape Town photography leader Orms has become an extensive creative franchise. The Orms vision has always been to provide professional and amateur photographers alike with the best and latest gear at reasonable prices, and to stock the largest range of products. Orms strives to keep South African photographers at the forefront of technological advances and continues to live up to its own high standards. Today Orms has become more than the go-to photography shop for South Africans. It has evolved beyond just selling the best photographic gear and currently offers everything from professional printing and framing, to décor solutions and photobooks. The retail and service offerings cater to photographers, artists, graphic and interior designers to decorators; to photography enthusiasts, mobile photographers, keen parents and avid photobook makers.


About Thania Peterson (the artist)

Petersen journeys back in time exploring her ancestral connection, the construction of historical narrative through the colonial gaze, and the impact of the oppressive narratives exerted by that gaze.  She asserts herself in the geography of history and time and reinterprets the language of colonialism, the gaps between, to embrace the fullness of being human. She calls on the spirit of her direct ancestor Imam Abdullah Ibn Qadhu Abdus Salaam (Tuan Guru), a prince from Tidore, Indonesia, who was brought to South Africa in the 1700’s and imprisoned on Robben Island for many years. After his release he resided in Dorp Street Bo-Kaap, where he opened the first mosque and school. He was never enslaved.

Petersen uses ceremonial Malay adornment as part of her compass and returns to sites significant to issues of slavery, forced removals and opposes the emphasis exerted by the colonial inventory on the bodies of people of colour, using her experience of being Cape Malay. She reclaims these spaces and elevates the visual and historical language, expanding and deepening the narrative to assert a victor as opposed to a victim.

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