WSU’s Fine Art BTech students gave audiences a beautiful yet heart-wrenching exhibition at the opening of their annual exhibition held at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery in East London recently.




The exhibitors, twelve in total, did a two-year course within a year, but surprisingly enough, took their entire thoughts and laid them out in true grace.





“Each year is different and what is exciting about this year is that they have all done their best. The BTech’s also received awards for overall best. They have grown as artists and their writing too.” said art lecturer Dr. John Steele.


The exhibitors took personal reflections with their pieces and as much as each artist has developed their own identity, they have somehow shown similarity with their quest for identity in a vastly changing world.


Excellence in Art Theory Award recipient, Unathi Peter’s work titled “Black Man on Trial” sought to awaken consciousness within the black majority in South Africa by letting go of judgmental acts but rather spread love and hope amongst one another. One of his masterpieces, titled “uHlohlasakhe-Greed” touches on the current political environment in SA but asks who are to blame between politicians and the voters.




Phumela Bottoman dedicated her exhibition on her experiences as a Black lesbian in South Africa, how she had lost friends to society’s hate of two individuals who love one another.


“My work is titled ‘Scars of the Norm’ because people try to normalize the killings and rape of lesbian women while forgetting all we want to be is to love and be loved.”




Another exhibit by Yanela Jila, titled “Mysterious Cocktails of My Cultural Consciousness” looked into the confusion and identity loss Africans find themselves in, in this highly western world.


Winner of the Excellency in Drawing Award Siyabonga Gijana’s pieces focused on the lives of black people in democratic SA. Effortlessly portraying poverty in black communities and a contrast between the education in rural areas where he was raised and also the houses found in rural communities.


Paint extraordinaire Mandilakhe Rolinyathi’s “Rhodes are Payne’s Grey and Mars Black: History Creeping into The Present” described his work as a symbol that tries to highlight the unbalance in the world, especially the promises made to the suffering majority of South Africans.



Self-proclaimed feminist Avuzwa Zweni looked into the meaning of the black woman in today’s world and the pressures they now find themselves under in the world. Dubbed best ceramics artist, Viwe Msali focused on the recent #FeesMustFall protests while Yandisa Ngombane painted work on social awareness.


Finally, photography and print artist Zodwa Tutani did her work on the effects of the Victorian Era on African clothing while Abongile Ngubelanga’s work was about dismantling patriarchy in the Xhosa culture.


The exhibition is set to run throughout this week and is set to expand to other provinces in the future.




By: Simo Cele

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