03 May 2018

May 2018 artwork of the month

Kim Kabelo Modise, Poor Man’s Roses, Linoleum Block Print on Paper, 2011, NAGN Permanent Collection
Namibian based Kim Kabelo Modise was born in September 1976 in Francis town, Botswana. His artistic career began in his birth country Botswana before moving to Namibia. In 2007 Modise graduated with a Diploma in Arts from the University of Namibia. Currently he teaches on the subject of textiles at the College of the Arts additionally the vibrant artist wears the hat of Acting Centre Manager at the John Muafangejo Art Centre.
Modise’s teaching career however began in 1999 in Botswana as an Assistant Art teacher at Maun Senior Secondary School, and later as an Art teacher at Kopong Community Junior Secondary School in 2001. Subsequently he was a Museum Assistant at Botswana National Museum and Art Gallery in Gaborone. This art educator has participated in the Tulipamwe International Artists' workshop in 2005 and has been part of the workshop working group ever since. The ‘1998 Artist in the North’ at Francis town Museum and gallery, ‘Artist in Botswana’ at the Botswana National Art Gallery, Gaborone and the recent ‘2018 Kayamoja International Wildlife Art Exhibition’ at the Opera House Gallery in Windhoek and Swakopmund are some of the shows where his artworks were featured. Among his achievements is the Commonwealth Arts and Crafts Silver Award won in 2005 and 2006, and the 2011 Bank Windhoek Triennial.  In his early years he had artists' residencies at the Caribbean Contemporary Art (CCA) Trinidad and Tobago in 2005 to 2006, the Great More Art Studios, Cape Town in 2010, and the 2011 Bag Factory Artist Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Poor Man’s Roses symbolises the language of beauty and is blurring the line between natural beauties and danger. The artist believes that roses depict growth, new life and are considered as something beautiful and colorful but before we present them we have to prune the thorns that in nature protect them during growth. Modise emphasises the feelings around this development stating that many people may think that what they give to somebody is the whole beauty of the roses when in fact, the thorns are usually removed. 
He continues to explain that this artwork is a complete beauty from nature that include thorns, therefore removing them eliminates the harmony of a specific plant that grow them together with flowers. In the title ‘Poor Man’s Roses’ the artist takes a stand point that who cannot afford to buy expensive roses can take one from nature.  In the print, the thorns are depicted larger than the flowers, laying in a heavy patterned background that symbolises the beauty of the bush. This artwork is a total admiration of many bush areas that still maintain its unspoiled vegetation, the message in 'Poor Man’s Rose' is to encourage people with less wealth to present their beauty and to be proud of themselves. Modise emphasises that this artwork is not to disadvantage but to rather motivate people to work hard for a better tomorrow.
The inspiration of this artwork comes from the beauty that he saw in nature from a picture that he took from his surrounding and presenting it in the ordinary state where it came from. He argued that when certain things in life are changed the concept of it is changed with consequent value and meaning left out. Further in 'Poor Man' Rose' Modise asks what danger is? and does something that look dangerous be beautiful too? 
Modise is one of the artists whose works are selected to be part of the pre –Tulipamwe Exhibition that will be on display at the NAGN from 9 May to 23 June. 

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