Art brought to life with masterpieces
29 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment
On Thursday last week, the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) was filled with artists from all walks of life for the launch of the Bank Windhoek Triennial 2020 – an exhibition that showcases the diversity of art produced by Namibian artists.
A total of 491 submissions were received, of which 233 are from outside of Windhoek, and during the judging process, 152 entries in eight categories made it to the finals.
• Overall: Saima Iita for “Women feelings in the 20th century” – a metal sculpture illustrating a woman breaking free from chains.
• Second place: Ndasuunje Shikongeni for “Fishrot-Greediness” – a tripod installation showcasing the plight for the exploitation of Namibia's resources by its leaders.
• Three-dimensional work: Saima Iita for “A Heart Sense” – a metal work portraying a human torso with a large golden heart protruding from the structure.
• Two-dimensional work: Ismael Shivute for “3000 divided by 24”. It consists of 3000 aerosol can tops flattened and stitched together into a wall installation. The artwork draws attention to the environmental impact of aerosols on the ozone layer.
• Contemporary customary art: Anastacia Karenga for “Heart Shape, Trust, Sharing”.
• Textile art: Ina-Maria Shikongo for “George Floyd” that highlights the continuing injustice that young African-Americans are experiencing in the USA.
An NAGN initiative in collaboration with Bank Windhoek, the Triennale marks the fifth consecutive sponsorship by Bank Windhoek to date, that has ploughed over N$1.1 million into the project.
Participating artists took note of the bank’s support and encouraged it to do more. Iita said that the recognition and platform motivate his artistic development. “With this prize, I now know that I can enthuse others to achieve their best,” he said. “We can market our country and create jobs because of this initiative. Arts is the solution to creating something new; changing lives.” Shivute echoed Iita’s sentiments.
Shikongeni added that art is part of everyday life, and gave the example that artists design money, structures, company logos and any other visual elements, and should be recognised for their efforts. "Bank Windhoek was the only bank that allowed me to open an account as an artist in 1996. I will forever be grateful for that, and the Bank should continue supporting creative arts," said Shikongeni.
The exhibition is open to public viewing free of charge, until Saturday, 31 July 2021.