It is said that works of art can be said to fully exist only when they are put on display, and as such it is the encounter with the viewer that makes art what it is.
After years of keeping to herself, local artist Nicola Holgate finally shared her incredible talent with a month long exhibition that premiered on Thursday, February 13 at the Sophie Lalonde Art gallery (iTowers, CBD).
The exhibition, scheduled to run until March 13, ironically attracted a crowd that was as racially diverse as the subjects featured in the portraits on display.
For most art enthusiasts, it presented, perhaps, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the most comprehensive representation of people of different identities and backgrounds residing within the borders of Botswana.
“One first emotion upon entering the gallery was an overwhelming sense of belonging,” said one Christopher, an art enthusiast.
“This is possibly the best works of art I have ever seen,” said Roseline Panzirah. “Nicola is just great.”
Panzirah however regretted that Holgate had not done enough portraits of prominent figures. Sophie Lalonde, the gallery owner was impressed about the turn out. “It was so successful. So many people showed up.”
The lady of the night, Holgate was overwhelmed with excitement at the reception she got. “It is too incredible considering this is only my first exhibition. People have only good things to say about my work.”
The theme of the exhibition, ‘My Botswana’, lets one appreciate and grasp the inspiration behind the work and as Nicole describes it, the portraits are truly about “I know you, you know him and he knows her, who I know too.”