Elza Botha, Manifes, 1980, Lino cut on paper, Sanlam Art Collection
Elza Botha used her art to communicate ‘banned’ information during the Apartheid era
To commemorate Freedom Day on 27 April 2019, Oliewenhuis Art Museum celebrates the work of Elza Botha that is currently on view as part of the exhibition Centennial, A Century of South African Art from the Sanlam Art Collection, 1918 – 2018 on display in the Main Building until 28 April 2019. The content of both artworks and the courage of the artist to produce these works during the height of apartheid make these artworks relevant celebrating the first democratic election on 27 April 1994.
Botha’s thought provoking works, Butterfly Box and Manifes, were both produced in the early 1980s; a timeframe during which many South African artists resisted and questioned the political climate and provided social and political critique through their artworks. Butterfly Box and Manifes make statements about the injustices of the former apartheid government by specifically focussing on how important information at that time was being withheld in the press by laws of censorship. The artist deliberately used art as a tool of communicating information that was ‘banned’ in order to educate and make information available to the broader public.
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Elza Botha, Butterfly Box, 1982, Lino cut prints on paper, wooden school desk and Perspex, Sanlam Art Collection