I See U: Imagining a Space for Freedom – an exhibition featuring more than 35 artworks that are being showcased at Spier Wine Farm until 30 November 2019.
Celebrating 25 years of South Africa’s democracy, the works include paintings, sculptures, photography, beadwork, and drawings that were encompassed by artists such as Athi-Patra Ruga, Helen Sebidi, and Ricky Ayanda Dyaloyi. Together they powerfully illustrate the importance of art to catalyse change, hold the powerful to account, and give a voice to the voiceless.
“Spier has been a longstanding supporter of the arts because we believe they are a powerful tool for transformation – sparking new insights and inspiring us to engage with our world in new and imaginative ways,” says Spier CEO Andrew Milne.
The choice of work, selected by I See U’s curator Olga Speakes – a lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at Cape Town University and an independent curator, was driven by the intuition that, while more have been accomplished over 25 years of democracy, much more still needs to be done. The artists which she and co-curator Gaisang Sathekge selected each honour the struggles of the past and take stock of our tumultuous present while inviting the viewers to imagine a more equal, prosperous and just South African future.
“By imagining the possibilities of freedom, artists open the door to real change,” says Speakes. “Artists hold a mirror to our society and our history and to speak back to us through their creations. They are the ones who are able to see our world in a way that opens different, deeper ways of knowing it. And so, by supporting artists we support our freedom.”
The phrase “I see U” has become a short form often used on social media to give recognition and support — to connect and to acknowledge someone’s achievements in spite of the challenges they face. It originated in the blockbuster film, Avatar, and has become popular especially among
young people, who often use “U” instead of “You”. By using this youthful colloquialism points, the exhibition offers a reminder of the young age of our democracy.
On social media, the term “I See U” has often become a short form of giving recognition and support — to connect and to acknowledge someone’s accomplishments regardless of their struggles. It originated from the blockbuster movie, Avatar, and since then it has a become popular saying, especially among young people, who often use “U” instead of “You”. By using these youthful colloquialism points, the exhibition offers a reminder of the young age of our democracy.
“Spier’s commitment to the arts extends to beyond nurturing artists — we are keen to develop curatorial talent too. That’s why, for public exhibitions we invite young South African curators to access this significant collection — thus building on their own career development and portfolio as curators,” Mirna Wessels, CEO of the Spier Arts Trust explains.