On Friday, 22nd September 2017, the Grade 11 Art, Design and Photography girls had the privilege of attending the historic opening of Africa’s largest Contemporary Art Museum, the Zeitz MOCAA at the V&A Waterfront.
This mesmerising building was developed from the dilapidated Grain Silos by architect Thomas Heatherwick. It is now the magnificent home to a variety of contemporary African Art works, many on permanent loan from Jochem Zeitz’s personal collection. The museum is a Cathedral to Art, an architectural wonder and an artwork in itself.
Many honourable public figures were present at the opening. We were lucky to hear the words of wisdom of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu; the Chief Curator, Mark Coetzee; the architect, Thomas Heatherwick and the generous art collector, Jochen Zeitz himself. Listening to these inspirational individuals was an exhilarating experience in itself. The event was marked as “historical” and many proclaimed the museum to be an ‘eighth wonder of the world’, due to the cultural richness that it brings not only to Africa, but to the world.
We were overwhelmed by the hospitality and generosity of the museum and thoroughly enjoyed the lunch boxes and goodie-bags, which we were gifted.
It was agreed that the museum has opened doors for us to indulge in our love of art. It is a treasure so close to home, alongside our fellow Africans. As Mark Coetzee said, “Art allows the expression of our differences as people of Africa. Through Art we are able to celebrate and explore these differences and our uniqueness in a safe space. Understanding and tolerance builds acceptance and breaks down fear, thus leading to a more unified and peaceful society, Africa and world.”
Some responses from Grade 11 Art students include:
“It was incredible to see and absorb the entirety of the works which we have studied in class, and to experience the energy and feel the passion embedded in the works in real-time.” – Aasiyah Khan
“It was like the Biennale, but better!” – Anna Choi (A Visual Arts student who experienced the Biennale while on the School Art Tour to Europe during the June/July holidays)
“Through this, we were able to indulge in and express our love of art, and were able to experience it alongside our vast community.” – Megan Hudson
“I couldn’t stop marveling at the sheer scale of some of the work!” – Alice Bonnes
“The magnitude and beauty of the building itself was overwhelming – I went back the following day.” – Paige Eitner Vosloo
“The Silos were breathtaking!” – Kiara Skors, Tasneem Davids, Saarah Salie & Michaela Hill
Written by Aasiyah Khan (Grade 11)