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THE EVOLUTION OF INDIGENOUS ART

01/03/2023
Iziko South African Museum

An exhibition of reconciliation at the Iziko South African Museum 

For media images and interview requests please contact: Zikhona Jafta at mediaofficer@iziko.org.za 

Iziko Museums of South Africa, in collaboration with the Koena Art Institute, will host a new exhibition entitled, The Evolution of Indigenous Art. Curated by Annelize Kotze and Lukretia Booysen, the showcase, will juxtapose contemporary indigenous artworks with San and Khoe rock art from the Later Stone Age. The exhibition will be housed in the |Qe Power of Rock Art Gallery at the Iziko South African Museum from 1 March to 31 August 2023. 

Installation View: | Qe Power of Rock Art Gallery at the Iziko South African Museum © Iziko/N.Pamplin

The Evolution of Indigenous Art will consist of approximately 20 original art pieces by 10 different artists from Cape Town to the Northern Cape. Their passion for their craft, their message to their communities, and their drive to have their voices heard and acknowledged, is evident in every piece.  Each artwork was meticulously selected to illustrate tangible contrasts and similarities with the Iziko collections currently presented in the space.  

The Evolution of Indigenous Art demonstrates the progression of this artform in a modern context. Through this exhibition, we are not just looking at the past, but creating legacies for future generations to build onHosting this exhibition at the Iziko South African Museum, where indigenous communities contested their depiction in the space, is important to ensure inclusive and dignified representation of our histories” says Ms Rooksana Omar, Chief Executive Officer, Iziko. 

The Evolution of Indigenous Art explores art by contemporary indigenous descendants and how their practices have continued through time. It marries ancient indigenous art and indigenous knowledge systems with those who refuse to allow this practice to become extinct. Like the art that was created so many years ago, this artform will continue to progress through the generations, unfold itself to those who seek to listen, and rise to the heights of its spiritual purpose. 

“The exhibition will unveil how artists are using their skills, indigenous knowledge, and spirituality to inform and engage their practice. The museum has, in the past portrayed indigenous peoples as trapped in time. Today, we celebrate these dynamic communities and provide an opportunity for those who had no say before, to represent themselves. The main intention of the exhibition is to illustrate that indigenous arts and indigenous people are not stagnant, limited, or even nonexistent” says Annelize Kotze, Iziko Curator 

A range of public-and-school programmes are planned for the duration of the exhibition. The first of which will take place on 1 March. This public programme will comprise of artists’ walkabout of the exhibition and exploring the narratives in break-away sessions. The artists will discuss how their history have influenced their art, personal thoughts and feelings, and how they interpret or link their practice to those of the ancient indigenous artists.  

Educational programmes, linked to the CAPs curriculum, have also been developed. These include museum lessons and walk-abouts with the educator to talk about the ancient art, contemplative, silent, self-exploration of the space, creative Arts as well as an engravings-based 3-hour workshop. These are available for booking via the Education Department at Iziko.  

“This work is affirming to a community who speak from the periphery. With the pride of their ancestors, they are joining many who have come before them to lead the charge in the quest of self-fulfillment through the indigenous lens” says Lukretia Booysen, Koena Art Institute.   

Exhibition Details: 

The Evolution of Indigenous Art on show from 1 March until 31 August 2023.  

|Qe Power of Rock Art Gallery, Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Road, Cape Town. Open Monday to Sunday from 09:00 until 17:00   

Email: info@Iziko.org.za or call Tel: 021 481 3800  

For school group enquiries and bookings, contact Wardah Harris via email on bookings@iziko.org.za or Tel: 021 481 3832 

ENDS 

Issued on behalf of the Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa 

Issued by: Melody Kleinsmith 

      Marketing and Communications Manager  

      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 collectionspecific 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 www.iziko.org.za, join our online community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IzikoMuseums), Instagram (@izikomuseumssa) or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions. 

About the Koena Art Institute (Lukretia Booysen, founder of the Koena Art Institute) 

The Koena Art Institute is an organisation that celebrates and preserves Khoe and San heritage and identity, representing artists of Khoena heritage from across South Africa. Artworks and events reflect the narrative through the eyes of the Khoena people, indigenous to the Southern Region of Africa.  The Koena Art Institute celebrates creativity, openness, tolerance, and generosity. We aim to be inclusive where diverse cultural, artistic, social, and political positions are welcome.  Hosting a beautiful balance of seasoned and upcoming artists who will present an exciting array of content central to the modern and contemporary Khoi/San. Committed to sharing the most thought-provoking modern, fine and contemporary art. https://www.koenaartinstitute.co.za/ 

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