It was on Friday March 15, 2007 when the Thapong Visual Arts Centre?s Gallery exhibition showcased artworks from five artists comprising Sedireng Mothibatsela, Jeremia Brochot, Mike Robinson, Meleko Mokgosi, and Steve Jobson. The exhibition marks the start of collaboration between artists associated with Botswana and a group of artists with nuclea De Arte, Maputo, Mozambique. The art exhibition comes as a response to an increasing focus and resurgence of interest in exchange exhibitions, locally and internationally. The exhibition introduces the audience to current art practices that includes paintings and new ideas, on an equal footing with the other traditional practice in the production art spectrum.
By taking a walk about in the Thapong Gallery, one will realized that there are diverse methods of painting. The exhibition reflects the transformation of art making through different ages that is from postmodern and to the dynamic world of today. Artists are exploring with medium in highly conscious ways, tapping from such issues as culture, experimenting with colour and self identity.
Jeremia Brochot, who was trained in France, has work that instantly attracts and provokes one?s feelings. The work breaks formal boundaries of making art. Brochot?s painting titled My Word 2, showcases the culture in relations to modern technology that is television. One may look at it as if the television has destroyed our culture identity.
Television has brought more harm than good to mankind in terms of the development of culture. The painting also sends messages to audience that Television is very strong in disseminating information. To an ordinary cultured person he/she might be uncomfortable with the way television brought in a new culture. ?We have been raised on television to believe that one day we will be millionaires, movie gods or rock stars,? Brochot said. ?But we won?t. And we are slowly learning the fact and we are pissed off.?
When looking at this painting one will start to observe the loopholes in our culture that is immoral. It is in black and white acrylic on canvas.
On the other side of the gallery, there are paintings by Steve Jobson that caught audience?s attention during the opening of the exhibition. Jobson?s paintings are more of himself. It is full of his character. Depicting his every day life, self identity. His style reflects history of western paintings applying it to the contemporary times. His work grand a traditional sense and the works are in a large scale. The artist embraces joy and happiness. The paintings depict himself, Steve Jobson, his playing moment.
His paintings draw everyone?s attention. One may say Jobson is acknowledging himself. His work is propositionally planed. His works speak for themselves; it is quality. ?Watching clouds drifting by? gets more attention than the others because of its scale use of colours and the mood and excitement in the painting. The painting may also mean that what is more important is himself/his identity.
The exhibition also features the artworks from other artists Sedireng Mothibatsele, who was trained in the United States of America and exhibited in Europe, the Caribbean, South Africa and Botswana. Her work is in contrast to her previous exhibition, is more of experiment with colour, breaking away from the formalities of making art. It tasks the audience to relate with colour. Colour is used as a subject. Mike Robinson is the other artist who uses colour as a subject. He is concerned with the process of using paint to make by make peace, destroy, create and cleanse.