The works range from Nelson Makama’s ‘Boy on blue’ depiction of a young black boy strolling down a dusty street and Velaphi Mzimba’s ‘Xolisa’, a tearful melancholic looking Xhosa teenager, to Kerry Evan’s ‘Conflict’ and Beezy Bailey’s ‘Dancing Men’.
They are just a handful of the incredible artworks on display at the Sophie Lalonde Art’s The November Exhibition Opening held Friday, at i-towers (CBD).
The gallery itself maybe located way up on the 19th floor but you don’t have to wait that long for a chance to marvel at the magnificent works of art.
They say getting there should be half the fun and for a newbie, you may be excused for thinking you have arrived as soon as you enter the ground floor.
From the moment you step into the building on the ground floor, you are greeted by the artwork decorating every facet of the walls as you make your way into the elevator.
The gallery, which opened its doors for the first time only a month earlier, looks set to establish itself locally as an art and craft phenomenon as well as changing the landscape of visual arts here in Gaborone.
The director, Sophie Lalonde, is impressed by the positive response she has been getting from the public. “It has been fantastic. Everybody loves the new art.”
One of my favourite pieces at the opening has to be Paula Louw’s ‘I loved’, which is a composition of typewriter components. It is simply a typewriter laid bare.
They may seem like just pieces but they are a nostalgic reminder of where we come from in as far as technology is concerned. The other interesting thing about most of the artworks is the undeniable sense of Afro-centrism.
The evident African socio-political realities that must have inspired the works is nothing short of captivating. For an African, they instil a strong sense identity, and for an outsider, it’s an artistic appreciation of the African way of life.
Although some of the pieces sell for up to a couple of hundreds of thousands of Pula the price tag seemed a little insignificant in relation to the quality of the work.
The relatively large cosmopolitan patronage that graced the exhibition was also testament to the appeal of the work on display. The astonishment, awe and appreciation were almost tangible.