Women in Stone speaks volumes

June 8, 2015, 10:05am

Women in Stone speaks volumes

Far removed from bulky sculptures dominating the rest of the exhibition, Rudolf Seibeb’s Gender-Based Violence (GBV) sculpture appears to cower in a lonesome corner at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) courtyard.
The distorted faces roughly sculpted out of the block of stone appear to be writhing in pain, perhaps in a bid to escape. However, they are befitting of the sculpture’s grim title.
However, Alpheus Mvula’s The Tonzo tops the macabre scales as the sculpture with only half a face and torso seems nonchalant about its own state.
He redeems himself with the Being in Good Hand, of a couple in a warm embrace. It gives the impression that the male figure protects his counterpart while exalting her at the same time.
The sculptures, which are all reminiscent of Upper Paleolithic stone carvings, are all part of the Women in Stone exhibition. They are spread out in both the FNCCs lower gallery and the courtyard.
Apart from Seibeb and Mvula, other artists include Daniel Paul, Liberty Lanyondo, Martha Haufiku, Gabriel Kashava, John Nampala, Elia Shiwoohamba, Kirsten Wechslberger, Hage Mukweshandje, Ismael Shivute, Risto Iita, Isay Indongo and David Amukoto.
The sculptors were charged with creating sculptures which depict women in a positive light in a bid to raise awareness against GBV. The two-week workshop was facilitated by Art in the House and Sister Namibia.
The predominantly uncoloured sculptures have rough finishing, and save for the distorted faces which are seemingly in pain, appear to be abstract and not confined to their theme.
Perhaps that is the beauty that lies with abstract art, the notion that one can interpret it as they see fit as it relates to the intended theme.
Although the sculptures have a somewhat rough finish, what stands out about them are the defined features of the sculptures’ subjects. This speaks to the strength of women and how they manage to rise up, regardless of the adversities, like GBV, which they face.
The arches and ridges on the modelled surfaces aid in stirring up strong emotions as the shadows add to the sculptors’ personalities.
Prices for the sculptures range from N$2340 up to N$91000, prices varying from sculptor to sculptor. The exhibition will run until 26 June, and entrance is free of charge.-

by Faith Haushona-Kavamba