Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Rhodes University Fine Art Department has launched a virtual graduate show exhibition featuring works by the fourth-year BFA students.
“For those of you who have attended our graduate show in the past, you will no doubt recall this convivial, public event where visitors could explore (for one-night-only) the various artistic incarnations created by our graduate students at multiple venues,” said Fine Arts Senior Lecturer, Rat Western. “This year, however, we have done things differently by moving the exhibitions online. This new format will allow people to see the art with due reflection, to return, possibly leave some feedback and have the option to share virtually with others what they consider most worth seeing.”
This final exhibition is the culmination of four years of change, exploring memory, looking ahead and introspection. The students’ multi-media work themes range from colonial family histories to imagined decolonial futures, digital realities to township narratives, and home and self-realisation.
According to their Fourth-Year Course Co-ordinator, Luke Kaplan, the group has had little time to work materially in their studios, and even less time to work together growing their practice through group interaction. “Yet, what has been lost in these areas has been made up for in a growing individual and collective resilience. They have faced the challenges thrown at them, and used their creative skills and faculties to develop solutions, finding ways through the hindrances and obstacles,” he said. “The graduate show would ordinarily be a moment of celebration with friends, family, the community of this university and town sharing a glass of wine and moving from one exhibition to another. This year we have had to learn new ways of doing things, by holding the grad show virtually, but it is no less a reason for celebration. What is on show here, alongside the sensitive, original, and diverse work presented, is also these students’ resilience, courage, dedication and creativity.”
Please go to https://rhodesfineart.co.za to view the showcase of work by the BFA Fourth Year Class. Some of the projects are documentation of physical installations, and others have been expressly designed for an interactive virtual experience. For this reason, the works are best viewed on a computer rather than a mobile device.