The undergraduate mid-year exhibition aimed to showcase the students’ progress and grasp of different styles and techniques.
‘These techniques will enable us to explore further and to push ourselves as young artists,’ said Shabalala. ‘Working in various mediums has allowed us as undergraduate students to gain confidence and be comfortable in exploring and discovering our own unique style whether it is print making, oil painting, digital art or the art of ceramics.’
Shabalala’s work explored the concept of sunglasses as an object and as a wearable item. She developed her concept by painting women wearing sunglasses. ‘My move from sunglasses as an item on their own to portraits of beautiful dark skinned women was interesting as I explored not only sunglasses but skin pigmentation and working with a vast range of oils,’ she said.
Student Mr Ntokozo Shozi showcased his work, Converse. ‘All-Star shoes are a culture, a tradition and a feeling. This project is about the past, present and the future. We all have some memory linked to All-Star shoes, from the new fresh All-Stars to rusty, old, dirty, torn ones. This project set out to remind us who we are by using the multi-meaning gesture of sticking the tongue out,’ he said.
Vellem commented that having one’s work showcased in a gallery is a celebratory moment, and congratulated the artists on their pieces. ‘As much as the first semester was experimental and artists were finding their own voices, having the work in the gallery is also a learning curve. You get to see your work in a different light. It is no longer a separate piece but one that is part of a larger body of work formulating one big narrative. Having other people experience your work is always a growth point,’ she said.