Bushman art graces Imago Mundia exhibition in Venice

Artist Elsie Dam from Donkerbos

A group of Ju’/hoansi artists from Omaheke have had the honour of exhibiting their work with Imago Mundia at the Venice Biennale 2015. This is the first time that Bushman artists were invited to participate in a major international exhibition.

Art works from two artists also grace the covers on two recent art books, Namibia: Land of Memories and More, Contemporary Art in Namibia published in 2014 and The Bushmen of the Kalahari, Contemporary Artists of the Kalahari Desert from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, published in 2015.
“The art programme is an important component of Omba Arts Trust’s livelihood support work for this remote San community’, said Belinda Thanises, training coordinator at the Trust, ‘We were very happy that a Namibian artist’s work featured on the cover of the book.’The workshop that was held in May to generate the art works was made possible by the Finnish Embassy’s Fund for Local Cooperation with art facilitation and curation by Karin le Roux from the Omba Arts Trust.
Imago Mundia is a collection of works commissioned by Luciano Benneton, one of the co-founders of Benetton Group, the Italian fashion brand. The collection catalogues art from emerging and established artists from around the world and is hosted by the Fondazione Benneton in Italy.
Mr. Benetton commissioned further work for ‘The Bushmen in the Kalahari’ exhibition opening at the Venice Biennale in September 2015 together with the launch of the book. 16 of the 117 artists from all three countries, a totally of 41 works, were from the Omaheke Region and ‘Honey Badger’ by Bennie Boepens from the Resettlement farm, Donkerbos appears on the cover.
In 2014 artists from around Namibia were invited to contribute their works to the Namibia, Land of Memories and More exhibition and publication. A beaded art work “Porcupine’ by Lena Tsueb from Drimiopsis, was selected from over 140 Namibian art works to appear on the cover of the book.