Home » Arts & Culture » In Celebration of 2014 Art

An open call art competition and exhibition themed “In Celebration of 2014, the Chinese Year of the Horse” finally took place recently at a private space called Sorellas Pizzeria and Cafeacute in Borrowdale. The call for the show was aired on various media platforms for a couple of months getting an overwhelming response.

The theme came about when the organisers of the exhibition had travelled to China on a cultural project in which they were well hosted.

They decided to pay tribute to the courtesy by organising an art competition and show celebrating the year 2014 which is the Chinese year of the Wood Horse. It is the Chinese Taoist belief that the attributes to the element, wood or tree are that of strength and flexibility, new growth and fecundity.

These attributes, brought together in the year 2014, can be linked to those of the relationship between horse and human throughout history: It is the horse that has played a huge role in allowing humans to develop and grow. It is the horse that originally gave the human the freedom to travel further. The exhibition became an acknowledgement of the role the horse has played in human history, both mythical and real, around the world. The history of the relationship between horses and humans that is a very long one and the influence of the horse on human development being one that often gets overlooked. The process of dispersing inventions, languages and writing systems, flora, metallurgy (to name a few human developments) in a nutshell, knowledge around our globe was sped up by the cooperation of horses with humans. Numerous sponsors came through for the success of the project in which 34 artists were selected to participate and their artworks were selected by a panel of judges, who included Gideon Gomo, Georgina Maxim, Wayne Stutchbury, Rozzane Turner and the coordinator and curator of the exhibition Helen Teede.

The artworks in various media which included drawing, graphics, painting, photography, sculpture, video and sound were recent specifically created for the art competition and exhibition.

There were two winners for all the three awarded prizes which saw the first prizes of US$1 000 each being awarded to Tawanda Takura for his “Untitled”(horse shoes) sculpture and Madeline Groenewald for her “Following Pegasus” hard ground etching, the second prizes of US$500 respectively went to Isheunesu Dondo for his “Metamorphosis” pen drawing on paper and Xanthe Somers for her “Passage” a cyanotype on fabriano whilst the third prizes of $250 each were given to Tafadzwa Gwetai for his “Lovers Escape” oil on card and Mia Swanepoel for her untitled series of photographs.

Some of the participants included Pamela Tapfumaneyi, Munyaradzi Mugorosa, Wisdom Vangani, Dumisani Ndlovu, Calla Beddow, Alison Baker, Anthony Bumhira, Lin Barrie, Wallen Mapondera, Kiara Watermayer, Amigo Bondiya, Lawrence Bango,Tamryn Pohl, Candis Diamondis to mention a few. It was quite refreshing to see a different crowd and artworks from a different set of artists whom you don’t see participating in local mainstream Galleries’ exhibitions.

They offer something new unlike the monotony of some galleries who exhibit same artists all the time with unvarying styles or media.

The exhibition had a high quality catalogue in which there was a write up by every artist about their particular piece on show and a very short biography.

One of the interesting tales on horses is about an “Injured Horseman”. It reads that a group of brave men took off early in the morning before dawn to hunt big game in a thick impenetrable forest. They travelled for miles whilst vision was still a guessing game before encroaching into other territorial horsemen’s turf.

Before they even realised it hell broke loose as fierce gunfire ensued. Startled they fled in all directions whilst they returned fire in defence. They were pursued by several enraged men all over the forest and many were caught up with and instant turf war justice was delivered.

For the few who survived they either played dead with blood gushing out of their multiple gunshot wounds or they disappeared. Horses of the demised neighed through the forest on their instinct way back home. Miraculously as orange sun raises broke through signalling daylight a huge maine-less brown stallion wondered back into the conflict turf to retrieved its tiny master.

It emerged home with its weakened master struggling to lift his head hanging on by a wobbly hand. He narrated that his beloved beauty continued on the run when he fell off from the gunshots.

A while later when all had calmed like the remaining riverbed pool during a torrid dry season, his intelligent stallion re-emerged quietly and rolled next to him that he could crawl and hang on to him before leading the way back home.

Source : The Herald