Budding artists exposed

Alexander drew this similarity in her address at the opening of the Art 4 U exhibition on Monday evening.

An initiative of SMEs Compete, a firm that supports the Namibian small and medium enterprise (SME) sector grow business and create wealth, the Art 4 U exhibition is on at the Taal Restaurant all week until Saturday. Unique in the sense that the focus is on recognition of the “business” contribution that local artists make to the development of Namibia’s economy, the event is providing an opportunity too for budding artists to expose their work to local and foreign buyers.

When asked, “Which of your paintings do you like most?”, Werner Mouton, one of the artists exhibiting at Art 4 U, says: “The next one I am going to paint.” Another artist participating in the event is more philosophical. Responding to the same question, Libbolius Nekundi says: “In a society where everything seems so temporary, it is an artist’s personal standard that creates work that will last for centuries.” His style of painting is more visual with the emphasis on San people, animals and landscapes, while Mouton’s forte is abstracts.

Popularly known by his nickname “Sampie”, Swakopmund born-and-raised Mouton now resides in Windhoek with his wife Claudine and their two daughters. His unique style has rapidly gained popularity locally and outside the borders of Namibia too. The younger Nekundi started painting while still at primary school and says his interest was sparked by a cousin, Nico Paulus.

Alex Zacharia, who together with local entrepreneur Navin Morar, established and own Taal Restaurant, says that they are so impressed by the outcome of the Art 4 U initiative that they will definitely partner with SMEs Compete and present similar events of an artistic nature in future. They support SMEs Compete’s view that the commercial value of art and the significant contribution that it makes to local and foreign earnings is frequently overlooked and are delighted that “art” has been added as a new cluster of SMEs that stand to benefit from the firm’s enterprise and entrepreneurial development support.

As for the similarity between Indian cuisine and art, Elizabeth Zacharia says: “In so much as a creative artist spends time conceptualising an idea and the methodology to be deployed before putting paint to canvas or paper, so too much thought goes into conceptualising an Indian dish before it is actually prepared.” Alexander adds: “So you see, it is natural that Taal Restaurant be associated with an event of this nature.”

September 2006
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