Xmas in July @ Omba Gallery
African nativity scenes made of banana leaves with tree ornaments made of beads, makalani nuts as well as recycled tin and wire are some of the decorations that will visually entertain visitors.
The idea for a Christmas exhibition in July came to life because, historically the winter is an important time for families to spend together. Accompanying the cold weather are many memorable family suppers where pannekoek, soup and sweet koeksisters all contribute to a feeling of hibernation and celebration.
The exhibition offers many typical Namibian Christmas decorations and a big range of new and exciting gift ideas. For instance, the strings of beads and bead decorations are made by a team of bead artists who have developed their own speciality in the craft.
Love-Joy is a master of copper wire and recycled colourful wires. Shumba has an amazing eye for modern ideas and products. Tapiwa has a fine talent of turning old tins into cartoon animals. Oscar is not only a great artist but an excellent businessman since his work is very popular with tourists. Nicholas has an incredible skill for transforming antique furniture into hip and modern artifacts while Benni is the makalani specialist with a gift of turning makalani nuts into wildlife scenes.
The artists are all part of the Ikhoba project which was conceived in 1983 by the Lacheiner sisters on farm Marburg in Otjiwarongo. Since its beginning Ikhoba Textiles has become a key community project providing regular income to over 300 men and women and their families throughout Namibia.
Some of the gift ideas include photographs taken by Kai Auchinschloss who recently joined the Ikhoba team in Swakopmund and has helped in the making of cushion covers and quilts. The quilts have Namibian proverbs written on them in native Namibian languages such as Oshiwambo and Damara Nama. Other quilts display words such as Love, Peace and Home in various indigenous languages.
Very popular with locals are the artifacts produced by Mathius Hipiqwa. He takes old delapidated furniture and transforms it into colourful fairytale items, giving it a new life. Mathius has had many previous exhibitions. For this exhibition he transformed the old furniture into vibrant art pieces with colourful animal themes.
Its never too early to start shopping for Christmas presents so for art that’s both brilliant and eco-friendly be sure to visit the Omba Gallery. The exhibition opens on Monday 11 July at 18h30 and will run until 13 August. Entrance is free.