For our first full day in Cape Town we started off by going to the Iziko Museum where we will be interning for the next month. Our first stop was at the National Gallery where they had a display of various artworks from a span of artists. They had a few different exhibitions on display, however, I really enjoyed the Lionel Davis and the “At Face Value” exhibitions. “At Face Value” displayed traditional and modern portraits and of all different mediums and subjects; it had basically everything you could think of in terms of portraits. My favorite painting that I saw in that gallery was Frank Auerbach’s “Head of Julia”. This is probably due to the fact that in a previous painting class I did a project based on his work and his style continued to influence the rest of my work from then on. Also, my final project was focused on self portraits which I really enjoyed so that is another reason I was fascinated by this specific exhibition. I was really surprised to see it but when I did I knew right away it was an Auerbach painting, so I was really excited to be able to see a painting of his in person.
In the museum they also had an exhibition dedicated to Asian puppets which was interesting to say the least… And in another exhibition there was an “interactive” sculpture called “The Womb Experience” by Zola Ndimande. You could literally crawl into a woven womb, which we all did, and it was a really weird but funny experience. The other exhibition that I really liked was Lionel Davis’s “Gathering Strands”. He had such an array of artwork of different mediums: he had printmaking, sketches, paintings, collages, and even some sculpture. It was crazy to see just how much he created and how he experimented with different mediums.
After that we walked over to the Slave Lodge which is also an Iziko Museum; here we were able to walk through this building which held slaves way back when before it was used for other purposes. We learned a little bit more history on slave trade and how the slaves were treated back then. We were tight on time so we didn’t have quite as much time as we would have liked but there was a really cool gallery upstairs with traditional pottery which I definitely plan on going back to visit again!
We then had a quick lunch and then we were off to Streetwires! We had a quick tour of their new work space and learned how they operate. It is basically a business in which beadwork artists can work and sell their artwork through rather than sell on the streets. We then had a little workshop were we all learned how to do this type of beadwork. We each made two little key chains (a star and a heart) which were actually very difficult! It was a little frustrating at first but soon I think we all got the hang of it! It was definitely very impressive and a little intimidating to see just how large some of their pieces are, one basically took up an entire wall! Some of them take up to months to finish, and that is with several people working on it together.
The night came to a close as we stayed in and worked on our second reflections and went to bed since we were all pretty exhausted.