Yebo/Yes is an exhibition by two young photographers, Oliver Dowdle, a 2010 Planet Pixl student from Mangaung and Jonas Posman, a photographer from Ghent. In 2009 they visited one another’s cities for a month, resulting in a portrait of two cities through the eyes of an outsider.
Taken by young photographers in a foreign city, the photographs aim to capture the general lifestyle and everyday activities of a foreign culture. It is clear that both photographers tried to capture the variety and contrasts that exist in both cities – there are photographs of rich and poor, of the beautiful and the unattractive, of diverse activities and portraits of people of all ages and races. This is all portrayed in technically excellent colour photographs. Through this exhibition, local visitors not only have an opportunity to see a bit of Ghent, but also to experience Mangaung through different eyes and in the process get to know their city better. Furthermore, Yebo/Yes introduces the public not only to the differences, but also the surprising similarities between the partner or ‘twin cities’ of Ghent and Mangaung.
The twinning of Mangaung and Ghent has existed since 2004 with the aim to strengthen both local councils; this is achieved by Ghent and Mangaung through sharing their experiences. This partnership is more than just collaboration between two city councils; it is also a link between two communities. The cooperation between the two cities seeks answers to some of the problems that are obvious in the exhibition: pollution, youth unemployment, education and the future for young people.
The exhibition will be opened by a representative of the Free State Provincial Government at 19:00 on Thursday, 2 June 2011 and there will also be a walkabout by the photographer, Oliver Dowdle on Friday, 3 June at 10:00. To attend the opening and or the walkabout please RSVP before 31 May 2011 at 051 447 9609 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Yebo/Yes photographs will be on display in satellite exhibitions at the Bram Fischer Building, the Clive Solomon Youth Centre in Heidedal and the Outdoor Youth Centre in Rocklands.
This photo project was realised as part of the city link between the Mangaung Local Municipality and the City of Ghent in cooperation with Planet Pixl School of Advertising and Oliewenhuis Art Museum (a satellite of the National Museum, Bloemfontein).
The exhibition, Willie Bester: Recent work, featuring recent sculptures and paintings, including a series of 21 portraits of people living in Montagu, will be on show in The Reservoir, Oliewenhuis Art Museum from 10 June to 31 July 2011. This is Willie Bester’s first exhibition in Bloemfontein and is not to be missed. The exhibition will be opened by Estelle Jacobs, former Director of the AVA Gallery, at 19:00 on Thursday, 9 June 2011 in The Reservoir. Willie Bester will also be present at the opening function.
Willie Bester is regarded as one of South Africa’s most important resistance or ‘struggle’ artists. He incorporates recycled material into his paintings, assemblages and sculptures and is best known for his installations made of found objects. His work usually comments on political injustices, human rights and social issues of the day. Even after the struggle, he understands that contemporary South Africa is far from idyllic and he continues commenting on the ills in our communities. He explains “I am sometimes tempted to go to the seaside and to paint beautiful things from nature. But I do not do it; my art has to be taken as a nasty tasting medicine for awakening consciences.”
Bester was born in 1956 in the Montagu section of the Cape flats and after suffering many hardships, including being moved from an area designated under apartheid’s Group Areas Act as appropriate for white people, into the ‘coloured’ area at the age of ten, he started working as a full-time professional artist in 1991. Apart from participating in the Community Arts Project in Cape Town (Cape Town’s primary informal organisation that embraced political art making) in 1986, he has no formal training and is a self-taught artist. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally and has won some significant awards, including the Johnny Walker Artist Award in 2009. In recognition of his significant contributions, he also received the Order of the Disa: Member from the Western Cape Provincial Government in 2004.
Please contact Ester le Roux at Oliewenhuis Art Museum at 051 4479609 or email@example.com for additional information.