Mitchell’s Plain youngsters’ artwork exhibited at Zeitz MOCAA

Brandolene Perries, 12, with her artwork.
Shirley-Ann Theys, 19, loved painting and turning old artworks into something new.
Joy Hermanus, 13, painted some lovely cupcakes.
Phoebe Camille, 11, busy creating her art piece.
Altara Florus, 13, with her art piece.

Forty children from Tafelsig, Rocklands, Bayview, Strandfontein, and Strandfontein informal settlements 7de laan, Oppermans Order, City Mission and Camp Road participated in the Manifesting the New project and some had their artwork showcased at Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) at the Waterfront.

The initiative was facilitated by the The Butterfly Art Project and 200 pieces, representing the work of different organisations, were showcased.

Advance Edukos Foundation founder and community art facilitator at The Butterfly Art Project, Wendy Abrahams, said they planned to visit the museum with a few of their students.

Their artwork will be exhibited until Saturday August 28.

Ms Abrahams, 48, from Bayview started the after-school programmes during lockdown in June 2020. It ran until December, reaching 95 pupils through its various initiatives, (“After-school programme in full swing”, Plainsman, March 10).

The Butterfly Art Project trains and mentors community art facilitators to offer psycho-social support for traumatised children and youth from disadvantaged communities.

In line with the Manifesting the New theme, participants were encouraged to take old artworks and create something new from them.

Community art facilitators were given several old or incomplete artworks from different people, with stories about why they hadn’t completed the artwork or why they had decided to give it away.

The artworks of the children involved in the initiative – through arts projects in different communities – were then submitted for exhibition.

Ms Abrahams, a trained community arts facilitator, received her training at the Butterfly Art Project, and continues to attend their workshops.

Museum Educator at the Zeitz MOCAA, Richard Kilpert, said: “The Centre For Art Education at the Museum for Contemporary Art Africa is proud of our local partners and the important work they do. This exhibition was mounted despite lockdown conditions, and shows the range of therapeutic activities that Butterfly Art Project engages with for children at risk, and their teachers.”

The Butterfly Project’s programme manager, Zaid Philander, curated the exhibition.

“There were several artworks that I really, really loved. We unfortunately could not put all of them in.

“In the artworks we could clearly see a little bit of the old incorporated into the new. We could identify the layers of work that came with it, a slow process and incorporation of time that was followed through.

“There was (also) simple pop artwork that I really liked. Congratulations, I think you did a fabulous job. Thank you for your contribution,” he said.

Ms Abrahams added: “This is a major opportunity that was given to our students knowing their artworks are being displayed at the world’s biggest African art museum. This is a major boost to their confidence.”

Arts programme student, Shirley-Ann Theys,19, who is in Grade 12 this year, said she loved painting and drawing as it relaxed and calmed her. She added that she loved the outcome of her artwork, done in acrylic paint.

“The first picture was of a lady with patterns around her head. I wanted to turn her into an African queen and that’s what I did. I wanted to add a bit of culture to the artwork,” she said.

Brandolene Perries, 12, in Grade 7, said she loved painting as it allowed her to be free and express herself.

The museum is only open Thursdays to Sundays, and educational visits can be arranged through the Butterfly Art Project or by emailing education@zeitzmocaa.museum