Afrospection with Isabel Katjavivi
Isabel Katjavivi is a Namibian artist who this year won first place at the Bank Windhoek Triennial. Dynamic and not afraid to use her art to share an important message, Isabel shares here her learnings and lessons from the past year, her self examination from Africa… her Afrospection
Q: How would you describe your 2017?
A: 2017 has been a year of growth. A year of recognition and discovery of the self.
Q: What was something good that came out of 2017?
A: Deciding to focus on myself was a good decision this year. This enabled me to continue studying – distance through the University of Cape Town, to hone my skills to be better at my job. To figure out what I wanted to do creatively and to decide to further my education and apply to a MA programme (still awaiting a letter of acceptance – fingers crossed!). Winning the Triennial Exhibition was definitely a highlight of the year, as this gave me the confidence to continue my exploration.
Q: What challenged you in 2017 and how did you overcome this challenge?
A: A challenge for me was dealing with the passing of my grandmother. This is something you don’t exactly overcome, but you learn to live with the loss and focus on the memory and your living family. I have definitely gained a stronger bond, love and appreciation for my family and their presence. Another challenge though was letting go of things I cannot control. I sometimes try too hard to fix things. This often leads to unnecessary distress, energy or pressure being placed on myself, but the magic was that it was myself placing it there. Letting go and accepting things as they are has been a weight off my shoulders.
Q: What was your favourite Art in 2017?
A: ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the age of Black Power’ an exhibition that was at the Tate in London
Q: What was your biggest health and wellness learning of 2017?
A: Your physical body reacts to what is happening in your mind, soul and heart. Fix what is inside and your body will heal.
Q: What was your biggest personal development learning of 2017?
A: Breathe. With every challenge or success just breathe. Don’t just react. Allow yourself the time to reflect then react from your core being. Living in the time we do, we do not allow ourselves time, we react and respond instantly whether it is social media, emails, texts/whatsapp… we’re always connected and running ourselves too thin. Give yourself time.
As for the Holidays…
Q: What is your favourite food in December?
A: Turkey, gravy and roasted potatoes.
Q: What is your favourite Namibian destination?
A: Anywhere quiet. Probably the farm or the coast, though we all know Swakop during December is anything but that.
Q: What book should we all be reading?
A: Quiet: The power of Introverts in a World that Can’t stop talking by Susan Cain or The other 90% by Robert K. Cooper
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: For life my inspiration comes from my son, my family and within, the urge to do all I can do. For my art, inspiration comes from history, family, nature, books…
Q: What is your mantra for life?
A: I am present within myself. I can centre myself with the ease of my breath. I feel grounded, confident, worthy and whole.
Q: What is your wish for the world for 2018?
A: More good challenges.
Q: What is your wish for Namibia for 2018?
A: We have a lot of issues within our society, I wouldn’t pick just one and wish for it to end. What I’d wish for is for more Namibians from different backgrounds to come together for our nation, for our issues…
Q: What is your wellness goal for 2018?
A: I need to actually start exercising!