Creative Asylum showcases promising new talents

Artworks: Pontsho Kemba and Ndako Nghipandulwa

Healing is at the heart of an art exhibition by Creative Asylum currently on display at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre. The result of a residency at the new studio space founded by artist and curator Jakobina Gideon, the showing introduces Creative Asylum, as well as a selection of some promising new talent to the art appreciating public.

“The residency offered artists a free safe space, free material to create, support from other artists, a loving community, a space to be and a platform to showcase their talent to the world,” says Gideon, who presides over Creative Asylum’s studio in Windhoek’s Northern Industrial Area.

“Our objective is to create a hub that offers Namibian creatives of all kinds – painters, fashion, designers, musicians, etc., – a space to meet, network and provide healing for those that suffer from creative block, lack of space to create, lack of understanding in their communities, lack of creative criticism and constructive feedback, as well as for those that want to aid in this healing process.”

Featuring the work of Gideon, Pontsho Kemba, Takudzwa Mukesi, Elizabeth Ayala, Menta-Lee Eimann, Jodine Strauss, Sithole Kediamogetse, Tity Tshilumba and Ndako Nghipandulwa, the exhibition explores themes of mental health, body positivity, love, nature, the rising cost of living and one’s personal power, primarily through painting.

Frames by established artist Tshilumba depict rural, underserviced scenes and the reality of inflation, while Nghipandulwa impresses with his signature nail and string offerings contrasted with his striking painting of intrusive thoughts.

Interesting in their portraits of bigger bodied black women winning sashes for naivety, gazing into a mirror amid self-portraits hinting at a lover and regarding artworks in the nude, Kemba’s presentation is notable for its character and cohesion.

Elongated, observing figures by Eimann, spray-painted portraits by Mukesi and marble dust abstracts of nature by Kediamogetse are also of note and suggest some emerging personal style, while Ayala considers inner feminine pleasure and Strauss mines some darker corners of the conscious.

An optimistic outcome of Creative Asylum’s residency and an invaluable opportunity for the featured young artists, the exhibition will be on display at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre’s downstairs gallery until 24 April.

Gideon urges budding artists to follow the studio on social media for more happenings, opportunities and invitations.

–; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram;

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