GOING PLACES: Cape Town artist Haroon Gunn-Salie.
GOING PLACES: Cape Town artist Haroon Gunn-Salie.

Cape Flats artist shares tale of freedom in Netherlands

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 26, 2018

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Netherlands - In what can be described as a moment of deep irony, a Cape Flats artist's work is going on exhibition Saturday in the Netherlands, the same country responsible for the enslavement of his forebears.

Haroon Gunn-Salie, the son of anti-apartheid activists, is one of 15 artists invited to exhibit their work at the Kunsthal KAdE’s group exhibition, titled Tell Freedom. 15 South African Artists, in Amersfoort, Netherlands.

His work is among 14 others in a showcase addressing the inequality of the country of his birth, in the country that first colonised South Africa.

Gunn-Salie’s work focuses on translating oral tradition histories and culture into visual art. His sculptures and installations will be on show until May 6.

Several attempts to reach him on Thursday for comment proved fruitless, but information on the Goodman Gallery where he often exhibits stated: “The artists featured in Tell Freedom are inspiring representatives of a generation of South African artists who have grown up largely since the abolition of apartheid.

“They carry the burden of their country's history of violence and injustice, but at the same time look to the future and the rest of the world with optimism. Their work examines and comments on social, political and economic injustices rooted in the colonial era and period of apartheid.”

Actively engaging with the present social ills that inform South Africa, the exhibition's aim is to allow the artists and viewers to envision a better future.

Gunn-Salie is an honours student from UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art.

One of his pieces from his graduate exhibition Witness is a site-specific body of work that focused on the forced removals in District Six and was bought by rapper P Diddy in 2013. The talented artist was also placed in the top 10 of the Sasol New Signatures competition.

Gunn-Salie’s work had also been selected to be exhibited in the New Museum's fourth triennial titled Songs for Sabotage from February 13 to May 28 in New York, as well as the A4 Arts Foundation's inaugural exhibition, YOU & I, in Cape Town from September 13 and November 30.

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Cape Argus

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