Out And About With The Cape Gallery
‘Out and About’ celebrates the lives and aspirations of the Ordinary People living in urban and rural areas across South Africa. As an art exhibition that will take place at The Cape Gallery, final dates are yet to be set, in accordance with the governmental lockdown regulations.
Many of the artists showing at this exhibition were trained in the 1980s at C.A.P.; The community Arts Project in Woodstock, Cape Town, by University of Cape Town graduates seeking to address the inequalities of the past exclusions in the educational system. In realising a uniquely South African identity, the artists who were mentored at C.A.P. foregrounded the aspirations of the time; the desire for running water, electricity, adequate housing and the ironies engendered by unequal opportunity. The rhythms of jazz, song and dance also energised their paintings.
A popular, down to earth and vibrant approach, often naïve, characterized their output which was dubbed ‘Street Art’. Vital, authentic and ‘new’ the work of these artists found a place here and abroad and their work has become not only significant to a new South Africa but highly collectable.
The Community arts project was founded in 1977 in Mowbray, Cape Town, partially as a response to the 1976 youth uprising and partially due to a dearth of spaces for artists suffering under the oppression of Apartheid. It moved to its better-known location in Woodstock in 1982.
C.A.P became an epicentre for arts and culture in Cape Town, and across South Africa. Their mission to foster artistic networks and mentorships across racial lines allowed it to bring formerly disparate artistic groups together. Under apartheid, this togetherness alone was a political statement and this contributed to C.A.Ps championing of struggle and protest art. Art is a powerful tool, it creates a visceral reaction deep inside the soul, the work coming out of C.A.P was seen the world over, raising awareness of the plight of the politically disenfranchised.
Following the Covid 19 regulations, The Cape Gallery is only allowed to reopen at level 3 lockdown so they will announce the opening and exhibition dates as they await further instructions on when it is safe to do so.
“Forwarding an exhibition called out and about during a global lockdown is an irony not lost on us. However, we believe that in our isolation the importance of community and togetherness have only become more apparent. Many of the artists featured create works about life in townships and rural villages, Covid-19 has centred our attention, once more, on the dismal plight of many of the poor living in the urban communities across South Africa. There are still inequalities to address, there is still deprivation and hunger but with it comes hope for more opportunity and a better life.”
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