Art is always a great way to introduce culture into our lives. Art also allows you to interpret the meaning of the work for yourself. It also helps us to confront issues that would be otherwise too difficult for us to process. To that end, I have an event that is not to be missed – ‘Hidden Shadows and Silent Voices of Prison Number 4’.
Clint Strydom, in collaboration with Constitution Hill, and co-curator Gaisang Sathekge, will release a powerful new body of contemporary photographs on the Number 4 Prison Section in May 2017.
The important details:
- The exhibition launches at Constitution Hill on Thursday 18 May and will run until 27 August and it’s one that you should not miss.
- For exhibition information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.themelrosegallery.com and www.clintstrydom.com and www.constitutionhill.org.za
- To reserve your place at the opening, please RSVP to Craig Mark from The Melrose Gallery on email@example.com
This exhibition titled ‘Hidden Shadows and Silent Voices of Prison Number 4’ will narrate the fascinating story of this nefarious prison. The Number 4 Prison Section was restricted to male prisoners and was home to Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Robert Sobukwe, Oliver Tambo and thousands of other people who were incarcerated here.
This infamous section is notorious for some of the worst atrocities that happened within the Old Fort Prison. Few know about the long tunnels and tiny cells that lie beneath the streets of the City of Johannesburg, the punishment racks, the naked prisoners, the food deprivation, the dirt and the cold.
The exhibition speaks to the fact that the cells are now empty, the doors lie open and the prisoners free. But the silent voices hidden in the shadows remain as custodians of the memories ensuring that we never forget and never go back. As one walks through the empty cells, the haunting presence hovers in the thick musty air.
‘The Old Fort Prison is a powerful place of history – storied with a complex painful narrative of South Africa’s brutal past. Strydom’s work, captured using the high res technology of a Hasselblad camera, captures the essence of the prison, portraying the shadows and recording the silent cries that once roared through the thick walls of incarceration. It’s a spirit-evoking body of photographs, accentuating the history of the prison’, Gaisang Sathekge.
‘Hidden Shadows and Silent Voices of Prison Number 4’ will help to give a voice to those shadows who have remained silent for so long. For this reason, I have agreed to donate several of the works to the Constitution Hill permanent collection’, Clint Strydom.
The artist and curator, however recognised that this precinct is now the home to the South African Constitutional Court, a symbol of light and inspiration to all as the protector of the South African Constitution, one of the most progressive constitutions in existence today.
Strydom and Sathekge have taken the decision to present the artworks on Diasec in large scales. This form of framing is extremely modern, contrasting with the roughness of the cell walls on which they will be presented.
Go on, take the time between May and August to appreciate some art.