May Day at Ellis House Art Building | Art Exhibition Listings
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Art Exhibitions

May Day

21 May 2022

Celebrating artists and their role in society
- A group show Curated by Bridget Modema -
May Day also called Worker’s Day is a day commemorating the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour department, observed by many countries in May.
This exhibition investigates identity, social and educational systems, female empowerment, miner workers, farmworkers, our working environments, street life, and the emotional wellbeing of working-class citizens in South Africa. hosting artists from Johannesburg, Pretoria, and the North West Provence in association with the Department of Culture, Art, and Traditional Affairs, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.
The participating artists are vastly diverse, from being a full-time or part-time artists; working at a shoe factory, a chef for the South African Defence Force, a graffiti artist, a documentary skateboarder, a recycler, a previous convict looking for a better future, a project manager, an architect, a master’s student, a stationery and décor designer, a curator, a theatre producer, a government official, and an art teacher.
The conflict which exists between putting food on the table and embarking on a journey of artistic expression lies heavy on the misunderstood function of artists in our society today. The duty of the artists is to reflect on the ongoing struggles and achievements of society. To bring awareness to economic, political, and social change and to bring forth artistic solutions to advance societal thinking around important ideas by using tools and materials to translate meaning.
The exhibition sheds light on the educational system, questioning if the youth is getting the right knowledge which prepares them for the working environment. We comment on womanhood, single mothers working and living in Johannesburg city, the values taught to us by our mothers, as well as the social issues around women and mental health. We look at how spaces have an emotional and behavioural implication on the psyche, we investigate the migration and immigration of citizens, we unfold the narratives of the common citizen, and we ask questions about how to be our best selves during the hardships of life and finding joy through self-expression.


Andile Zikalala, Crome1, Hiten Bawa, James Thomas, Kelebogile Masilo, Kganya Mogashoa, Lynette van Tonder, Mbalemnyama Radebe, Michelle Isaak, Phemo Matlhabe, Renee Johannes, Shayna Rosendorff, Siyabonga Tembe, Stephen Langa, Thandazani Ndlovu, Thomas Shikwane, Tshego Mputle, Tshepang Maelangwe, Tshepo Makinita.


Address: 23 Voorhout Street, New Doornfontein, Johannesburg


Two Solo Exhibitions

Participating: Karla Nixon and James Thomas

Opening: Sunday 3 July 2022 at 11:00 - 15:00 - 2 August 2022

View exhibition details...

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