People's Post

South Africa’s recent unrest inspired local creative artist

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The artwork Cry our beloved country was inspired by the recent violent protests in parts of the country. PHOTO: RAZIA MYERS
The artwork Cry our beloved country was inspired by the recent violent protests in parts of the country. PHOTO: RAZIA MYERS

Local creative artist Razia Myers says her latest painting titled Cry our beloved country was inspired by the recent violent protests and looting in parts of the country.

Myers says she started the large oil painting in 2018 but finished it recently following the events that transpired in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

The Oranjezicht resident says her painting of an African woman in a forest filled with large trees and illuminating light piercing through the darkness depicts the state of the country.

Myers says she was reflecting on the country and the dryness of the land.

“I wanted to depict the state of our country by visually highlighting the empty canals, lakes and rivers remnant of the sleuths and slams found in our townships in South Africa. I portrayed the crops as a metaphor to a land that has so much potential. I decided to depict this scene in a forest filled with large trees and illuminating light piercing through the dark hole we often find ourselves in our country.”

Myers says she decided to portray the country in an embodiment of an African woman and the light signifies glimmers of hope.

“I tried to capture the emotion of despair and sadness in her eyes where her face is half shadow half-light. When all the turmoil began recently. I immediately thought of this magnanimous spirit portrayed in this painting and I decided to rework her emotion even more.”

She says the protests highlighted the challenges many South Africans are faced with.

“A land with so many resources and unbridled potential is surely a missed opportunity. One cannot but feel the helplessness and hopelessness that so many of our people fear and face every single day.”

She poses the question: “How do you continue to hope and keep your family fed when there are no resources supporting you, no opportunities and total lack of faith and trust in our leaders who only seem to enrich themselves?”

Myers says the arts and entertainment industry is bleeding because of the pandemic.

“I can relate as an artist with so many of my peers in the industry who find themselves with no work and no opportunity. The pandemic has obliterated our opportunities even more with so many people losing their lives and livelihoods.”

The artist says some of her works are currently on display at the Jaffer Modern Gallery for an all-female group exhibition that runs until Saturday 24 July.

She says the theme for the exhibition is “Does this resonate with you?”

“I particularly am honing in on what we look for as comfort and guidance during a time in a pandemic. This is ultimately God. To me that meant dreaming of a new world. A world made of popping colours and fantastic creatures and a world which we can all peacefully exist. I want to believe in that Utopia for our country South Africa,” concludes Myers.

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