From the 7 March – 30 May 2014 our lovely gallery housed an exhibition of contemporary art produced in Botswana through the Kuru Art Project. This exhibition highlighted the efforts of !Khwa ttu to empower the San to reclaim and share their heritage in their own way.
The Colours of Change Art Exhibition, as it was called, was supported by the National Arts Council, National Heritage Council and Ubuntu Foundation Switzerland , offering a unique opportunity to experience San commentary on their present circumstances.
Originating in 1990 in D’Kar, Western Botswana, the Kuru Art Project has produced contemporary art that is original and remarkable in character. Dating back to the era of rock paintings, art has always played an essential role in San society. The Kuru artists, in developing their own artistic voice, are creating awareness about the loss of their hunter-gatherer existence and the impact it has had on their lives.
In a society in which the hunter-gatherer, healer, shaman, dancer and artist are often united in one person, visual art becomes an expressive outlet for the traditions and life experiences of the San society. As one of the artists, Coex’ae Dad, states, “I do not see myself as just another artist. Being an artist is part of my existence as much as being Ncoa Khoe (San) is part of my existence.” !Khwa ttu strives to share the spirit of the San people by enabling these artists to transcend cultural limitations and reach an international audience through the centre.
Since its inception, the artists of the Kuru Art Project have won awards and become well known. Their work is now found in private and public collections throughout the world and has been used for several publications and book covers, a Botswana Postal Services stamp collection and on the tails of British Airways airplanes.