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Drawings Past and Present Exhibition

The National Art Gallery of Namibia as the custodian of all things art and culture, is currently running a group exhibition by both young and seasoned artists which illustrates an art form often dismissed or kept on the periphery of art. The Past and Present exhibition showcases an endless array of artworks that incorporate soft pencil sketches and prints to charcoal illustrations. This extensive exhibition runs until 08 October 2016.
The exhibition is made up of works from the permanent collections of the National Art Gallery and the Arts Association Heritage Trust, and it celebrates drawing in its diversity of manifestation and implementation.
This exhibition forms part of the Heritage Week Programme which takes place from19 to 23 September 2016. Additionally, coupled with this exhibition, the National Art Gallery welcomes Australian artist Shan Wood for a short-term Drawings Residency. Wood will work in a pop-up drawings studio in a section of the Upper Gallery of the gallery alongside part of the Drawings: Past and Present exhibition. Wood has been a professional artist and arts educator for 20 years, and hopes to share her processes and knowledge as well as gain some local experience from her time here.
Sauntering through the gallery one has to notice the unique works by the different artists as every piece seems to stand out and point to its auctor. At first glance the sketches are delicate, they hang faintly on the walls of the gallery beckoning the viewer to step a bit closer and appreciate the fine lines and non-compulsive form of art that is sketching. Artists such as Imke Rust, with a larger then life canvas of a Himba doll. She appears evasive at first with only fine smudges and outlines of wood and cloth, the viewer is not quite sure if it’s a doll until gazing at the subject for a while.
A young artist, Petrus Amuthenu brings a unique element to the exhibition as his works revolve around pop culture and urban design. What makes his work endearing is that he uses modern subjects such as hip hop and modern imagery with print making, which in the past only focused on one-dimensional subjects of tradition and abstract art works.
On the upper floor, the exhibition only gets better with artists such as Fillipus Sheehame creating 3-dimensional black and white life-like images in charcoal. In one of his works titled ‘Captured Memory’ he conveys a strong theme of impoverishment and inequality with a dark male figure and his beat-up car.
Drawings Past and Present is an exhibition for artists who are evidently talented beyond measure. This exhibition is a breath of fresh air: – intentional, expressive and beautiful to look at.

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