Exhibition focusing on mining in Africa set for National Art Gallery
By Natasha Jacha
The National Art Gallery of Namibia will host a solo exhibition, ‘TERRA’ by South African artist, Jeannette Unite. The exhibition will be officially open on 19 July and will run until 6 September.
According to a statement this week, the exhibition has been shown in museums and university art galleries in Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Europe, China and Uzbekistan.
The exhibition mainly focuses on mining in Africa and was produced in response to extensive range of mining and industrial sites in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Southern Africa.
“It examines the paradox of plenty and corporate constructs around mineral companies tax and legal aspects of mineral rights and the impact on socio-political subjects,” the statement read.
The artist has travelled through more than thirty countries accumulating an extensive personal archive of images and material from the mining industry. This includes early geological historical maps and texts that were created during the Industrial Revolution to guide mining the coal that fuelled the engines that drove modernity.
Unite’s work has focused on the mining industry, resource depletion in Africa and the economic and sociological conditions impacted her large-scale drawings of mining headgear and industrial complexes are executed with chalks and pastels that the artist makes herself, making use of minerals that she gets from mines as waste by-products after the extraction of ore.
Unite is at pains to embed a fundamental critique of the way mining has shattered lives, displaced communities and wreaked havoc on the environment.
The artist is a very active researcher both in archives for source material from which to draw and on the ground in mines themselves and the communities that provide labour for their operation.
She explores the impact and relations between power and earth through the mechanisms, both technical and social of our modern world that are so inextricably linked to mining.