Join us for a panel discussion on Material Matters in Paintings at the End of an EraÂ which will beÂ centred around the Five Bhobh: Painting at the End of an Era exhibition. ItÂ closely examines the use of non-conventional textiles in painting, such asÂ blankets, doilies, women’s undergarments form second-hand clothing markets, discarded hessian from tobacco farmers and tenting material. Panellists will include writer Jessica Hemmings; Curator of Historical painting and Sculpture at Iziko Museum of South Africa Hayden Proud; Zimbabwean artist Anthony Bumhira. The discussion will be moderated by Erica de Greef, Zeitz MOCAA’s Senior Curator of the Costume Institute.
The exhibition, Five Bhob features twenty-nine artists from Zimbabwe. In various ways they mark the end of an era, offering foresight into an alternative dispensation. Painting has a long history in Zimbabwe. In its broadest sense, it can be defined as the application of pigment on a surface or the manipulation of materials that are traditionally associated with painting. This exhibition provides a synopsis of the medium as it applies to Zimbabwe today, challenging traditional ideas around how painting is defined. In some cases, the painting is stripped to its most basic form, exposing threadbare canvas. At other times, paint is mixed into substances such as silicone, synthetic hair, and wood. For decades, artists from Zimbabwe have manipulated this medium as a way of subtly articulating complex issues, speaking in intricate, allegorical codes.
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AboutÂ Anthony Bumhira:
Anthony Bumhira was born in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, in 1985. Known for producing semi-abstract, large-scale art, Bumhira uses doilies and other innovative materials that have a personal and spiritual connection. In Zimbabwe, the doily is a familiar household object.It adorns the living room sofas of many urban homes. Yet for Bumhira the inclusion of the doily is particularly significant. He is part of a doily generation: those who were raised by hard-working mothers whose doily stitches were sold through cross-border trade in order to put food on the table. Another common element in Bumhira’s practice is the use of blankets instead of canvas. This material is universally understood as a source of shelter, intimacy, and vulnerability. In Zimbabwe, it is also used to protect your baby from the elements or to wrap the dead. Thus the use of blankets in Bumhira’s work has profound spiritual implications. Here, the intertwined realms of the living and the dead are expressed through a combination of traditional painting styles and the experimental use of materials.
AboutÂ Hayden Proud
Hayden Proud was born and educated in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He is currently Curator of Historical Paintings and Sculpture at Iziko Museums of South Africa. After studying art education and majoring in painting at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape TownÂ (UCT), he took postgraduate degrees in Art History at the University of Sout Africa (UNISA) and at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where he studied medieval art. Proud has an established reputation as an active curator, scholar, and a former lecturer at UCT. He currently teaches a postgraduate curatorial programme at UCT’s Centre for Curating the Archive, assisting in shaping a new generation of curators. His various publications include the book, Revisions: Expanding the Narrative of South African ArtÂ (SAHO/UNISA Press: 2007) and a recent essay on the work of Zimbabwean artist Richard Mudariki entitled The Painter from Chitungwiza, published in the catalogue of his recent touring solo exhibition, Mutara Wenguva “Time Lineâ€Â (Sanlam Art Collection: 2017).
AboutÂ Jessica Hemmings:
Jessica Hemmings writes about textiles.Â She studied Textile Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a BFA (Honors) in 1999 and Comparative Literature (Africa/Asia) at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, earning an MA (Distinction) in 2000. Her PhD, awarded by the University of Edinburgh in 2006, isÂ published by Kalliope paperbacks under the title,Â Yvonne Vera: The Voice of ClothÂ (2008). She has taught at Central Saint Martins, Rhode Island School of Design, Winchester School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art.Â In 2010 she edited a collection of essays titledÂ In the Loop: Knitting NowÂ published by Black Dog and in 2012 editedÂ The Textile ReaderÂ (Berg) and wroteÂ Warp & WeftÂ (Bloomsbury). Her editorial and curatorial project,Â Cultural Threads, is a book about postcolonial thinking and contemporary textile practice (Bloomsbury: 2015) accompanied by a travelling exhibitionÂ MigrationsÂ (2015-2017). From 2012-2016 Jessica wasÂ Professor of Visual Culture and Head of the SchoolÂ of Visual Culture at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. She is currentlyÂ Professor of Crafts & Vice-Prefekt of Research at the Academy of Design & CraftsÂ (HDK), University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
About Erica de Greef:
Erica de GreefÂ newly appointed Senior Curator at the Zeitz MOCAA Costume Institute in Cape Town is a fashion curator and theorist. She has contributed to the development of fashion thinking in South Africa, predominantly in the context of fashion education, promoting research in local fashion histories and practices. Her PhD thesis investigates the conditions, politics and ideologies that informed (and continue to mark) the dress/fashion collectionsÂ and exhibitions of South African public museums, with a focus on the recently merged Iziko Museums. She has lectured at LISOF School of Fashion in Johannesburg, with two years as Head of Department supervising courses such as Fashion Theory, Trend Analysis, Fashion Media, Historical Fashion Studies, and facilitating the Honours in Fashion programme.Â She holds a Masters in Fine Arts (Wits University, 2011), a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education (University of Cape Town, 2013), and National Diploma in Fashion (Natal Technikon, 1988).