Could Togetherness Be a Missing Link for Artists
Since it’s inception, 23 years ago, the Tulipamwe International Artists’ Workshop has been a showcase of the power artists derive from collaboration. Now running at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN), the exhibition of the works produced through this workshop show a spirit of togetherness that is the calling card of this event.
“The point of the workshop was bringing artists together. It is networking, sharing ideas and exposure. We need exposure. If we share with different artists from different cultures we grow.”
A collection of international artists from Mexico, Sweden, Tanzania and more were invited to work alongside local Namibian artists for a two-week period. This year the workshop was based at the Etupe Co-operative in Northern Central Namibia. At the base of the Otavi mountains, artists shared concepts, philosophies and styles with the beauty of the Namibian landscape as their backdrop. The work the group produced will be on display at the NAGN until the 15th of April 2017. 99FM’s MYD Art spoke to some of the artists collaborating in this event.
Talking about the importance of this event as a conduit for creativity, Lukas Amakali, a visual artist and a photographer from Namibia says, “I think these events are very important because it takes you out of your box. I was in a box and it was not freedom. Doing the same thing over and over. These artists, who came to work with us, opened our minds.
Danisile Ncube, an abstract sculpture from Zimbabwe says, “the workshop was just amazing. The togetherness between people, it was to me coincidental, in terms of togetherness. I didn’t know what Tulipamwe meant but the togetherness I found in this workshop was just amazing.” Finding that togetherness was part of the process explains Danisile “We struggled a lot you know, in different ways, even getting stuck in mud but we were all together pushing the trucks, pushing the car, pushing the bus and we made it.”
“The point of the workshop was bringing artists together. It is networking, sharing ideas and exposure. We need exposure. If we share with different artists from different cultures we grow. Togetherness, which is Tulipamweness, is people united together in different cultures. It’s also a universal language that people need to harness, a united global village.” Says Danisile.
“Sometimes artists are secretive, they’ve got certain techniques that they don’t want many people to know about, but it is very good to open up and share what we have. I’ve learnt a lot in this workshop.”
Isaac Chibua, a painter and sculptor from Botswana says, “It was really a great experience. Coming together now as a group, you realise that there are still so many mountains to climb and so many things to learn. It was a good experience.” Issac adds, “Sometimes artists are secretive, they’ve got certain techniques that they don’t want many people to know about, but it is very good to open up and share what we have. I’ve learnt a lot in this workshop.”
The first Tulipamwe International Artists’ Workshop was initiated by the Visual Arts Department at the University of Namibia in 1994. The collection from the 2017 Tulipamwe International Artists’ Workshop is on display at the National Art Gallery of Namibia until the 15th of April 2017.
Article written by Kirsty Watermeyer