Exile and belonging

2010-03-09 00:00

ARTIST Simmi Dullay explores her roots and issues related to living in exile in the exhibition Exploring ­Exile at the Durban University of technology art gallery on the Steve Biko Campus, Steve Biko (Mansfield) Road, Durban.

The work, on exhibition until March 18, forms part of her fine arts Masters degree dissertation, titled Exploring exile as personal and social transformation through critical reflection and creative and artistic expression. It includes a mixture of multimedia photography, paintings and installations.

Commenting on the exhibition, Dullay said: “In 1992, when we returned to South Africa, my mother found the younger generation of women in the family performing rituals and observing holy events which were orthodox in comparison to what she had grown up with.

“Much later in my life, around 1995 and 1996, after we had returned to South Africa and I went back to Denmark looking for the home I had left, I found myself lighting the luxmi (a daily ritual my family practises every day) performed at dusk to bring light into the night.

“Being alone in Denmark and in the midst of Danish-Western culture I felt that performing the ritual of the luxmi connected me to my family, as well as functioning as a form of resistance, a political statement where performing the ritual was an act of defiance.

“Today I understand the significance of the way ritual for the exile transcends place and maintains a sense of identity and belonging.”

At the Crouse Art Gallery, at 254 Lillian Ngoyi (Windermere) Road in Morningside is a series of landscapes by Daniel Novela. It is Novela’s first solo exhibition in KwaZulu-Natal and reflects on the natural world. ­Using oils, he paints subjects that are close to his heart with a powerful range of techniques, sensitivity, depth and sophistication.

“I want to recapture the beautiful simplicity of herding the cattle, collecting firewood and water. It is so peaceful. My technique evolved a lot through my studies but my subject matter remained the same — memories of that happy childhood, open fields under the endless sky, the Africa that was mine when I was a boy,” says Novela, who was raised in Mozambique and currently calls North West Province home.

The gallery is open from 9 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to noon on Saturdays. Inquiries: 031 312 2315.

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