Having staged an exhibition at L’Artigiano in Fiera in Milan, Italy in 2015 and another at Cape Town’s AVA Gallery and Art Centre last year, East London artist Stephanie Bester’s latest solo exhibition will be held at the GFI Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth next week.
The new exhibition, titled Emancipation, will consist of bronze sculptures and oil paintings.
The artworks aim to connote how over time and history, economics, socio-religious and political perceptions have influenced relationships and the need for women to rise above the social expectations that have dwarfed the power of their feminine potential.
The elongating figures in the paintings allude to the influence of the San people whilst the poses, colour and medium communicate the narrative behind the journey.
“I employ the traditional bronzing process to imply a ceremonial rebirth, baptism by fire or spiritual cleansing,” Bester said.
“I propose that creativity, spirituality and history should contribute to the discovery and development of ‘Self’.
“The first step to an individual transformation is a ritual that would change one’s perception of the ‘Other’, a change that could allow for an acceptance that every human being has male and female qualities – strengths and weaknesses, rationale and non-rationale, femininity and masculinity – influencing behavioural patterns.”
The GFI Art Gallery is at 30 Park Drive, Central, and opening night is on Tuesday at 6pm, with a walkabout with Bester on Wednesday at 11am. The exhibition will run until May 2.