Between the Shadow and the Light: An Exhibition Out of South Africa

 August 4, 2017

“Between the Shadow and the Light: An Exhibition Out of South Africa” is a cross-cultural exhibit that explores the history, social wounds, and ongoing reconciliation efforts of South Africa. In June 2013, twenty artists and educators from North America and six African countries—Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—gathered in South Africa for two weeks of living, learning, and creating together. They undertook an intensive program engaging South Africa and the remarkable role of art and artists within its history, culture, and contemporary reality.
“In South Africa,” says Okwui Enwezor, one of Africa’s most eminent art critics, “art is not just an interpretation or facsimile of history, but a moral force in the production of a new reality, and hope for a damaged society.” The resulting exhibit signals the way artists walk between shadow and light, the creative voices that offer the hope of resistance, remembrance, reconciliation, representation, and revisioning. Two of the participating artists, Margaret Allotey-Pappoe and Joseph Cory, will offer comments on their experience, the artwork, and the human need for creative hope within global and local realities of race and reconciliation.

hos·pi·tal·i·ty

Hospitality was the first exhibition hosted by Still Point featuring work from 19 participating artists exploring the theme of hospitality: Craig Hawkins, Hasani Sahlehe, Anna Yearwood, Bruce Herman, Stephen Watson, Makoto Fujimura, Rodrigo Mateo, Chuck Hoffman and Peg Carlson-Hoffman, Liz Beard, Stanley Rayfield, Mary McCleary, Sandra Bowden, Mark Sprinkle, Ned Bustard, Suzy Schultz, Holly Smith, Phyllis Beard, Scott Rogers, and Karen Swenholt. They were represented by galleries from Taipei to Houston to Atlanta’s own Mason Fine Art.

A Note from the Curator:

For most of us, as Henri Nouwen once observed, hospitality conjures up images of “tea parties, bland conversation, and a general atmosphere of coziness.”

At the onset of curating an exhibition around the theme of hospitality, one thing became clear as I spoke with artists in diverse places of life, belief, and practice. There seemed an intuitive sense that hospitality grasps at something much deeper than entertaining friends and less conditional than anything the “hospitality industry” might conjure in our imaginations.

The artists spoke of making space, of seeing the unnoticed or the ordinary, the self and the stranger. They offered images of layers hidden beneath the surface, of ecosystems with room for darkness and beauty. They depicted humanity tied to humanity, the choice to embrace or exclude, and possibly, in the same moment, to entertain mystery. They demonstrated a generous reception of paint and spice and found-materials, playing host and making room.

Hospitality is an exhibit that considers the art of making space; the kind reception and entertaining of guests, visitors, and strangers; the virtue of a great soul who cares for the universe through the ties of humanity. It is both an exhibition and an invitation from nineteen contributing artists and Still Point.

Jill Carattini
Curator