Samsara: A continuous pursuit

To commemorate the arrival of indentured Indians to South Africa 150 years ago, the Tatham Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition of works by Indian artists. This exhibition is also a celebration of Indian influenced art which highlights the impact Indian life has had in a broader South African context.

Diverse works by older visionaries sit alongside younger cutting edge artists exploring similar themes and motifs. The exhibition enables the viewer to see the establishment of cultural traditions juxtaposed against current social preoccupations. Many of the works on the show engage with oeuvres of identity, legacy and heritage.

Overarching themes have been identified and explored to unpack political, religious, cultural and social practice. The majority of work is by artists of Indian descent and artists who have been influenced by symbols and identities associated with Indian culture.

Works on this exhibition span a wide range of media including painting, photography through video and installation. Younger artists such as Zen Marie, Reshma Chhiba, Usha Seejarim and Sharlene Khan deal directly with family histories, expectations and ritual through new media. Ravi Govender and Kiren Thathiah explore spirituality through oils and Ken Godfrey imbues an almost pop approach to cultural icons through vibrant watercolour. Zainab Reddy and Ebrahim Badsha will form the backbone telling stories of histories past.

The exhibition was coordinated and curated by Jenny Stretton and Liesa Hillar of the Durban Art Gallery in collaboration with Selvan Naidoo, an art teacher at Northwood School and National Design Examiner. Guidance in shaping the structure of 'Samsara' was kindly offered by Riason Naidoo, Director of the Iziko South African National Gallery, and Vedant Nanackchand, Head of Department, Visual Art Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, University of Johannesburg.

Reshma Govind, Untitled, c.1996, Screenprint

Reshma Govind
Untitled, c.1996
Screenprint 450 x 362mm

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