Time: August 22, 2013 at 6pm to September 16, 2013 at 5pm
Location: In Toto Gallery
Street: 66 st. Andrew Street
Website or Map: http://www.intotogallery.co.za
Phone: 011 447 6543
Event Type: art, exhibition
Organized By: Megan Amy Kidd
Latest Activity: Jul 27, 2013
In Marion Boehm’s solo exhibition at In Toto Gallery, we are taken on a journey through her experiences of Kliptown, Johannesburg, and her time spent with the people who inhabit the area. The portraits in “Patched” are testaments to the characters that Marion encountered at a community centre called Bolo’s, resulting in an exceptionally personal show that draws the viewer deep into Marion and Kliptown’s story.
Kliptown was the home to the Congress of the People, which saw the drawing up of the Freedom Charter, a document that outlined an alternative vision to the oppressive policies of apartheid. Despite its historical significance, Kliptown has been neglected; there is lack of infrastructure, education and employment and due to the absence of these necessities, the people of Kliptown face great challenges. There are, however, places of hope such as the Walter Sisulu Square, which honours the Freedom Charter. Another place of hope, on a smaller scale, is Bolo’s.
Marion was born in 1964 in Duisburg-Rheinhausen, Germany, and moved to South Africa in 2010. Since relocating, she has spent a great deal of time engaging with members of the Kliptown society at Bolo’s, a private community centre run through Bolo’s initiative. Bolo’s celebrates what township life is about: its people, their spirit and their aspirations, it is the epitome of Ubunthu, meaning "humanity to others". The centre provides care and support for children and the elderly. Activities such as helping with homework, feeding, music, theatre and games are combined with spiritual guidance and providing a platform for self-expression. Bolo introduced Marion to the people in his community and she was quickly taken into their homes and their lives.
The impact the centre and its people have had on Marion is life-changing and in this exhibition she has paid artistic homage to the women who shared their lives with her. Marion has worked in a variety of mediums that speak of township life: Sheshwe cloth, photographs from Kliptown worked on in pastel and graphite, and newspaper collages. Recycling materials is part of Kliptown’s daily life, and Marion has considered that in her work. By enlarging the portraits, Marion wanted to achieve the sense of grandeur and honour for the people who are often overlooked in life by many.
Marion concludes: “The realness of the people in Kliptown and the way they live is what I am choosing to document and explore in a way that will tell the stories about this community. Kliptown and its people brought me back to art, because it became a necessity for me to capture these precious moments. I want to share with other people what I experienced as important milestones in my life.”
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