Thursday, May 7, 2015

Art quilts

Shared Sky is collaborative exhibition of art quilts and painting on linen by two groups of artists, one South African and the other Australian. It runs until 26 May 2015 at the National Gallery in Cape Town.

From the catalogue of Shared Sky Exhibition
 at Iziko National Gallery
The exhibition celebrates ancient cultural wisdom and the understanding of the movements of objects in the night sky. These are the same celestial bodies that are being studied by scientists and astronomers around the world by means of the Square Kilometre Array project (SKA) and the giant radio telescopes located in South Africa and Australia.

The telescopes are situated close to the areas where the two groups of artists live. Hence the collaboration of the SKA organization and the artists at the Bethesda Arts Centre in South Africa and the Jamaji Art Centre in Western Australia.

It was raining the day I went into Cape Town to the National Gallery and you can see that my catalogue got rather wet and crinkled. I didn't want to fold it up in my handbag and I rolled it instead to try and keep it dry under my umbrella.

The catalogue shows one of the quilts at the top and a painting below.  It's just a little glimpse of what's on display as no photography was allowed in the gallery. 

In real life I thought the quilt shown above was stunning. The photo does not do justice to the colours. The work is a combination of applique, quilting, hand embroidery and machine embroidery. The paintings are worked in little dots and again the photo of the night sky painting above does not do justice to the impact of the work.

On display too is a small group of decorated ostrich and emu eggs. It's hard to grasp that some of these eggs were painted 77000 years ago.

The other exhibition at the same venue that I found intriguing was the William Kentridge installation The Refusal of Time. The multiple videos, enveloping sound and big gallumping machine bombard your senses in a way that's difficult to describe and I left feeling I'd like to go back and see it again.

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