Last week, Zeitz MOCAA’s Centre for Art Education (CFAE) unveiled an exhibition of grade 12 learners’ work with Walking the Peripheries – A Zeitz MOCAA Centre for Art Education Project.
The exhibition is running from Saturday, 18 June to Sunday, 31 July 2022 and is the culmination of a six-week-long project that commenced with a four-day intensive workshop at the end of March 2022. Facilitated by newly qualified art teachers and museum educators, the interactive sessions invited a select group of 19 learners from 11 schools across Cape Town to engage with the work of South African artist Tracey Rose, currently on show at the museum until 28 August 2022.
“We are in a space between being adults [that are] able to produce powerful, emotional art and still [being]children who have to go to school,” says Michaela Perkel, a grade 12 learner from Herzlia who participated in the project.
Other schools that took part include Bishops Diocesan College, Bridgehouse High School, Curro Century City, Groote Schuur High School and ID Mkhize High School c/o the Peter Clarke Art Centre, Herzlia High School, Rhenish Girls’ High School c/o PJ Olivier Art Centre, Rondebosch Boys’ High School, Rustenburg Girls’ High School and Stellenberg High School.
Inspired by the themes of Rose’s retrospective Shooting Down Babylon, the workshop presented a safe, educative space for learners to engage with challenging themes of identity, gender, spirituality and race, taking into consideration the broader context of #blacklivesmatter, #metoo and global activism.
“Beyond the benefits of encouraging creativity and engagement and gains in critical thinking and cognitive ability, arts education within the context of South Africa, Africa and the diaspora deals with particularly challenging topics that learners may not be introduced to elsewhere,” says Liesl Hartman, Head of Education at Zeitz MOCAA’s CFAE.
“This project, which includes the exhibition of learners’ work, has allowed the participating learners to question their identities as young adults, express deeply held personal anxieties and negotiate a world in chaos.”
Walking the Peripheries is the third student exhibition to be curated by Zeitz MOCAA’s CFAE team, who have established a robust programme of educational workshops, exhibitions and classes that fulfil a key museum objective of strengthening art education.
A core work the learners engaged with during the workshop sessions was that of Rose’s Ciao Bella video installation and the accompanying series of photographs, which undoubtedly evoked a range of reactions such as confusion, humour, shock, empathy and indignation.
Adds Liesl Hartman, Head of the Centre For Art Education: “Tracey Rose confronts social, religious and political dogmas, myths, histories, stereotypes and personal internal struggles through the characters she embodies in her work. The young artists who participated in this programme courageously and enthusiastically responded by making artworks of their own, thereby taking part in a creative process that encouraged inquiry and exploration of medium and technique.”
Walking the Peripheries – A Zeitz MOCAA Centre for Art Education
The Project will be on view until Sunday, 31 July 2022 in the tunnels on level -1 at Zeitz MOCAA.