Art to remember slavery

Cheslyn Brandt, from Ocean View, next to his painting, Grysie.

Artists from around Cape Town exhibited their work in the original slave quarters of Leeuwenhof, the premier’s official residence, at the official launch, on Saturday, of Leeuwenhof Slave Quarters Remembrance Gallery.

The gallery stretches out on the grounds of the 18th century estate, occupying the former slave quarters, the Bo-Tuin Huys and the garden in between.

Mr Winde said that when he and his wife, Tracy, had moved into Leeuwenhof they had learnt of the history of the buildings, including the old slave quarters. Reflecting on the “horror of slavery that taints our country’s past” they had decided to do something about it.

“This remembrance gallery is the result of the process that followed, and I would like to thank all involved for helping give a voice to those who were denied the most basic human rights all those years ago,” said Mr Winde.

Premier Alan Winde, middle, with from left, historian Joline Young, from Sea Point and artists Elton Jagels, from Paternoster; Kenneth Alexander, from Athlone; Leshaan Moses, from New Woodlands; and Leethan Jacobs, from Kewtown.

The gallery will have three components. The first is an exhibition on the history of slavery, focussing on the enslaved people who lived and worked on the estate. It also includes a list of names of people who were enslaved at the estate.

The second is the art exhibition, where the social, cultural and economic legacies of slavery will be explored through art. Some of the works are from the permanent collection of the Cape Town Museum.

The third element is a rotating exhibition of art for sale, curated by the Association for Visual Arts (AVA). The submitted work does not necessarily reflect slavery although the artist may have had a connection with the history of slavery at the Cape. Saturday night’s exhibition is the first of a series of five exhibitions planned until March next year.

The gallery will be open to the public every first Saturday of the month, from 10am until 2pm, and by appointment.

Guided tours of both the historical exhibition and the rotating art exhibition will also then be available. These tours are coordinated by AVA and the Cape Town Museum.

Chief of the Gorachouqua Tribe Ishmael Sabodien, from Ocean View.
Members of the Cape Town 7 Steps Minstrels. Back, from left, are Muneeb Hermans, from Hanover Park; Lorenzo Edwards, from Philippi; and Sulaiman Kannemeyer, from Bo-Kaap. In front are Brett Edwards, from Philippi; Shadley Basardien, from Hanover Park; and Muamr Abrahams and Mansoor Jacobs, both from Bo-Kaap.
Members of the Cape Malay Choir Board.
Artist Gary Frier and his wife, Jacki, from Kuils River with multi-disciplinary creative Tyrrel Thaysen, from Milnerton.
Artists Leethan Jacobs, 21, from Kewtown, and Leshaan Moses, 20, from New Woodlands.
Premier Alan Winde watches poet Blaq Pearl, AKA Janine Overmeyer, from Bayview.