By Ndeenda Shivute, Trainee Curator NAGN, Art Beat (NAGN's Newsletter)
Tulipamwe International Artists’ Workshop is a community development project organized under the auspices of the NAGN. The objective of the project is to stimulate local art awareness and skills development. This year, twenty seven professional artists representing 13 nationalities participated in the project.
This year the artists were taken to the beautiful Gobabeb Research and Training Center that is located in the Namib Desert, 120 km south-east of Walvis Bay. The Center is best known for its unique location. It lies between three distinct ecosystems-the gravel plains, the Kuiseb Riverbed and the Namib Desert, where the artists stayed for the period of two weeks, and where they experimented and created works that were both engaging and unique.
The workshop culminated in the Tulipamwe International Artists’ Exhibition, which showcased 128 artworks in various disciplines ranging from photographs to paintings, installations, prints, multimedia projections and film, ceramics, sculptures, mixed media, drawing and conceptual art. This exciting exhibition occupied the Foyer, Lower Gallery and Upper Gallery of the NAGN.
The Tulipamwe Exhibition, one of the more unique shows that the NAGN hosted in 2015, was regulated by a short timeline - which entailled virtually two days of getting the entire exhibition ready for public viewing. Tulipamwe means “we are together”, so as result of the location and way the workshop is structured there was a lot of collaboration between the artists, their environment and the communities that live near Gobabeb.
The subject matter that dominated the exhibition were: Gobabeb, the Kuiseb River, the Namib Dune Sea, the Namib gravel plains and the indigenous Topnaar settlements. Some of the artists were inspired by the desert habitat with its contrasting colours, varied textures and wide open spaces.