‘We are here because of art’

Artists and budding artists came in their numbers to new work done by their peers at Tsoga Centre in Samora Machel.

The Inkcubeko Youth Art Event is making concerted efforts to prioritise artists’ development by mobilising the necessary resources for the implementation of various programmes in Samora Machel.

At the Tsoga Centre, on Saturday March 25, the group staged an exhibition designed to explore a developmental exchange between the local artists and their counterparts from Italy.

Saturday’s event brought down the curtain on the 2015/2017 edition of Art Residency Project, an exchange programme between South African and Italian artists. The project had been a collaboration between Centro Luigi Di Sarro of Rome and Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town and supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation.

Artists from the two countries talked to each other to seek opportunities for collaborative art initiatives and encouraged the communities to work with businesses to improve the state of the arts, be it fine art, music or beading, among others.

Organiser Nokubonga Mepeni said Saturday’s exhibition illustrated the organisation’s conviction that investment in art was the best strategy to realise meaningful development of, not only young people of the area, but the country as a whole.

“Our aim is to develop art in all forms. We have been engaging all forms of art in the area because we feel it is deserted. We feel blessed that we have a relationship with the Italy. These guys have helped in many ways and we wish they will continue with that help. Today we have prize money which was raised by the Italian Consul,” she said.

Italian Consul in Cape Town, Alfonso Tagliaferri, said he was happy with the friendship they had with the country and also urged people to enjoy and be part of art. “There is nothing more I would say. But we are here because of art. Art keeps us together. I am delighted to be here and to have a relationship with this country. Let us see and enjoy art and finally see who wins,” he said.

The relationship was applauded by the local ward councillor Eddie Andrews who encouraged artists to continue forging relationships with whoever rendered services in the townships. Mr Andrews said the good thing about art was that it enabled people to communicate and be together.

“It is always good to see people working together. We welcome the partnership of all those who render services in our townships or areas.

“This is a good initiative that all need to applaud. What I like about art is that it affords us space to communicate. This is the way of expressing ourselves. Without it ,any people would not be able to express their feelings and who they are. We really need to develop our artists,” he said.

He added that artists should learn how to empower themselves using their skills.