ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE: Finding new solutions

By By Shasimana Uugulu
August 2010
Local artist Shiya Karuseb recently hosted his visual arts exhibition at the Franco Namibia Cultural Centre (FNCC) entitled “Another Perspective” aimed at promoting new ideas of addressing problems facing humanity.

Karuseb’s exhibition ran from the 5th July 2010 to 29th July 2010 and he says was inspired by the society and the environment he lives in and he wanted to convey the message that humans and the environment can live together in harmony and in a sustainable way.

“Today humanity faces many challenges that are life threatening such as diseases, pollution and climate change. Most of these challenges are man made and can be controlled through the development of new strategies and behavioural changes,” he said during the exhibition.

It is these realities about life that inspired Karuseb’s artworks, and he used visual arts to convey messages that encompass reality and highlight the challenges in a new light.

“If these challenges are not addressed appropriately and timely, humanity is on a path of self-destruction. We have caused a lot of destruction to our planet and do not give the environment a chance to rehabilitate as we pursue our developmental agenda,” he said.

Karuseb’s art work comprises of mixed media,such as collages and etchings and in his “Another Perspective” Exhibition he used signs and symbols to develop amazing drawings such as ‘Could Be Paradise 2’, ‘Rehabilitation’, ‘About the River,’ ‘Slave Trade, Broken Law’ and ‘New Jerusalem.’

According to Karuseb his exhibition concept of “Another Perspective” entails finding new solutions to problems facing society, revisiting existing strategies to see why they have not been effective in addressing poverty and other social evils.

Karuseb grew up in Okahandja and said his art skills developed during his childhood when he used to make toy cars from wire and drawing in class.

He has participated in many group exhibitions such as the Tulipamwe International art workshop, Expressing Etosha and Bata Pata International arts workshop.

Among his solo exhibitions are ‘The Journey of the Shepherd’, ‘The Return of the Gardener’ and ‘Farm Boy.’

He said although he was introduced to professional arts by his old friend and artist Papa Shikongeni, his role model is Namibia’s renowned artist, the late John Muafangejo.

“I never met John Muafangejo but I feel his presence in my artworks and he is the one that inspires me. Currently I am working on another exhibition for March 2011 titled ‘Conversation with John Muafangejo’ where I will exhibit artworks that are mainly inspired by him.”

According to Karuseb, Papa Shikongeni noticed his art skill well when he was in his early 20s and decided to enroll him at the John Muafangejo Art Centre in 1995 where he graduated with an Advanced Printmaking Certificate in 1998. He then taught Printmaking, drawing and sculpture at the centre for three years until 2001.

In 2003 he won the /Ae//Gams Festival Graphic Art Award.

Karuseb called on the government to develop talent for art within communities as it will contribute to the improvement of living conditions and employment opportunities.PF