Absa’s Remnant Exhibition Features South Africa’s Most Promising Artists

Pan-African bank, Absa continues its role of shaping the visual art landscape in South Africa as it hosts an exhibition titled Remnant (opened Thursday, 26 August 2021). The exhibition will explore residual remnants of human existence, playing on the title of the exhibition itself and will be hosted on the Absa Art Hot Spot platform. Remnant will highlight artworks from two of South Africa’s most promising artists Kirsten Eksteen and Asanda Kupa. Eksteen hails from Grassy Park in the Cape Flats and will be presenting ten artworks ranging from installation to linen-based canvasses. The 26-year-old sees the exhibition as an opportunity to introduce her unique style of art to the country. 

“During the 2018 Absa L’Atelier Art Competition, I won a merit award that allowed me to take up a one-month residency in New York. During my time there, I discovered that art comes from an artist and, therefore, the artist is part of the artwork they produce,” she says. 

“For this exhibition, I will be showcasing work such as my steel wool suit which I designed and wore until my It was moulded to my body shape. This is a personification of the idea that the artist is part of the work they produce,” she adds. 

Asanda Kupa, who is 42 years old and hails from the Molteno in the Eastern Cape, says he was born to be an artist.  For him, this exhibition serves as a reminder of the most topical issues in the country; namely, land ownership.

“Historically, my art has always shown the movement of people. This time around, my work showcases the movement of people without the physical presence of people therein,” he says.

“I also touch on the contested issue of land through some of the works. I deal with the issue of land ownership and whether the land belongs to us or whether we belong to the land?” he adds. 

Absa Senior Specialist Art Curator, Dr Paul Bayliss, says the newly launched Absa Art Hot Spot allows Asa to continue making possibilities a reality for artists from across the African continent even during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has restricted art lovers to limited physical gatherings. 

“The Absa Art Hot Spot allows us to keep positively impacting the broader visual arts community by identifying, nurturing, and supporting fledgling as well as more established artists and providing continual education around the visual arts. This is exemplified by the artists we have chosen to showcase at the Remnant Exhibition. Asanda and Kirsten are uniquely gifted creatives whose portfolios and personal backgrounds are totally distinct from one another. However, it is their differences which make their upcoming collaboration even more authentic and engaging. It is by honing the artists’ skills and creating platforms such as this, that we can ignite the creative economy on the African continent,” he says. 

Remnant will be live for viewing on the Absa Art Spot from 26 August until 31 December 2021 and art lovers can view it by login onto: https://www.arthotspot.absa.africa/

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