“There never really is much to say about art, except to let it speak for itself”
It is not everyday that you will find one of our writers choosing to indulge in some curating of art, even more so, a solo exhibition of a Zimbabwean artist within the heart of Johannesburg, Braamfontein.
What started off as my usual encounter over a fresh cuppa, turned into an expedition to the Stevenson Gallery.
I’ll be honest, I probably only took it upon myself to curate the work of Portia Zvavahera because I am a female, who subscribed to writing for a Zimbabwean-based magazine and it only seemed fitting that I actually explored into her works (as I am the South African correspondence anyway).
The exhibition is titled: “What I See Beyond Feeling”. Of course, the title caught my attention more than anything, being an avid writer will have you loving a person’s work even before you see it, just from a title that captivates you.
Walking around to see the artworks that were currently on display, it seemed there was so much to take from each picture, yet the artist’s “spiritual and emotional topographies” could only be best interpreted by her.
Having gone through the individual titles of the displayed artworks, the symbolism each artwork bore became clearer.
One aspect of the exhibition that stood out for me though, is how each piece of artwork speaks to femininity to it and the theme is carried on throughout.
There are elements of birth, which carry through the journey through life. Of power, the struggle for it or the lack thereof. Of nurturing and the comfort that one can draw from it. There is peace in the artworks, through just a solitary visual depiction, has you striking a point of turmoil with complete calm.
See, the title of the exhibition explains how this isn’t art that is meant just to capture the eye, but rather, art that is meant to stir up a sense of emotive connectivity that can only be understood by an eye that sees through feeling.
So, if you feel like you want to explore the streets of Braam, a stop at 62 Juta Street should be well in order. It will certainly give you a glimpse into the story of the visuals that Portia has managed to capture through her paintings.
[The exhibition is currently underway, until 27 January 2017.
For more information on the exhibition, you can go to www.stevenson.info]
Images Courtesy of Gosiame Legoale