The Okavango Association of Artists (OAA) will host an exhibition from March 14 to 16 at the Nhabe Museum. The exhibition, is organised in collaboration with Artron Enterprises (PTY) Ltd and the High Commission of India, is titled March of the Millennium Years. Dr. Ketan Shukla, High Commissioner of India and Special Representative to the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) is expected to conduct the official opening.
The March of the Millennium Years is an Indian art exhibition that was exhibited at the Thapong Visual Arts Centre in Gaborone last year as part of the Botswana 50th anniversary celebrations. The (OAA) exhibition will give art lovers in the Northern part of the country a chance to witness and appreciate a different type of art. Made up of sculptures, paintings, jewellery pieces, wood and stone crafts as well as handicrafts, the exhibitions promise to take viewers through the different and stirring civilizations that India has gone through till present times.
According to the Chairman of the Association, Ompatile Sebuelo, (OAA) is a Maun based visual arts organisation that seeks to elevate the standard of the visual art in the Northwestern part of the country. Through the partnership with the Indian High Commission, which will afford them the opportunity to showcase Indian arts, the association hopes that the initiative will highlight the importance of cultural diversity and co-existence with various nations, cultures and ethnicities. Sebuelo also says that being able to host the exhibition of this magnitude means a lot to his association, and that it will open doors for the association and its members.
(OAA) is a member of the Thapong Visual Arts Centre and has 65 members. “We hope that our members might also benefit through cultural exchanges,” he says. Besides the upcoming exhibition, the association also has annual members exhibitions as well as platforms where they bring artists from Gaborone to come and share knowledge with the Maun based artists.
India has seen different ancient civilizations including Egypt, Mesopotamia, as well as Greece, all of which have been preserved to this day. India has been the home of arts and crafts since primitive times over the millenniums. Today, Indian paintings like Pichhavai, Miniature paintings, Thangka paintings, Madhubani paintings as well as Tanjore and various others are now an arts lover’s greatest temptation. Sebuelo further notes that Indian textile traditions are reputed all over the world and admired for their beauty, texture and durability, adding that the origin of Indian textiles can be traced to the Indus valley civilization. The people of this civilization used homespun cotton for weaving their garments.