Window display by Art of Brother
Myths reflect the beliefs and values held by society. Inspired by a deep appreciation for African folklore, Art of Brother (Karabo Makenna and Cobus Engelbrecht) co-ordinated a group exhibition centred on two stories which they feel are relevant to our modern age.
Karabo and Cobus met at CPUT and became friends when they learnt about their shared love for skateboarding. This friendship soon led to creative collaborations and the formation of Art of Brother, which now acts as a platform for the various art and design projects they embark on. “Our aim at the moment,” they say, “is to promote ourselves as well as a well-known design and art collective by taking on clients and coceptualizing many more creative projects.” They’re also keen to find more ways of using art and design to help other creatives promote themselves, and they’ve made a good start with Myths Recreated, a five-day-only group show from 31 July – 5 August at Worldart Gallery in Cape Town.
The exhibition features works by Karabo and Cobus as well as five other local artists: Fuzzy Slippers, Nolan Dennis, Thandiwe Tshabalala, Darren Christian and Russell Abrahams. By bringing together talented local artists with widely varied styles, Myths Recreated is an attempt to foster a renewed appreciation for myths and legends in our everyday lives. “South Africa has so many different cultures and backgrounds, and we feel that by telling our stories and listening, we can bring people closer together,” the duo explains. “Storytelling is a great way to understand and interpret each other’s heritage to find a middle ground and to realise that we’re not that different from one another.”
Each participating artist interpreted the following two stories. See the artworks below.
Selekana and the River God:
There was once a kind and charitable girl. She lived a selfless life and was rewarded for this by the ones she offered her time and generosity to. Others grew envious as they wanted her rewards but without actually putting in the work. The envious stirred up a plot to take away her rewards that she worked so hard for. She was left with nothing after she sacrificed all her gifts in good faith, faced with having to look inside herself to find a reason to continue being good and helpful, even after envy took all she had. To regain her rewards she had to give her all. This she did and she was rewarded with all she had lost and more. The envious then tried to obtain what she had but did not want to make sacrifices, until the envy inside them took all they had and more.
A long time ago there were two friends, with a bond closer than that of brothers. They were inseparable, a symbiotic existence, until one day they came upon a great opportunity. One was greedy and went for swift rewards in the form of instant gratification, and this caused a rift between them because the other friend used the opportunity to invest and reap the rewards later. When his friend crawled back he refused to share with him, so greed got the better of the hasty friend.