The body of work on show has been created by the postgraduate students in Fine Arts at the Department of Visual Arts, Nelson Mandela University. The themes (identity, sustainability, culture and narrative to name a few), media (ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture, book arts and more mixed media and interdisciplinary approaches) and materials which appear in this exhibition are as varied and numerous as the participating artists. The collaboration itself, beset by the challenges of working during the time of pandemic, is also an underlying theme, characterising the entirety of the exhibition.
A Chrysalis refers to a protective shell for an animal or being that is going through a transformation or developmental stage. A home to all the creatives whose work is showcased in this exhibition, the art department can be perceived as a kind of ‘Chrysalis’, also symbolising the artists in their various stages of development within their chosen artistic directions and careers.
Coming from diverse influences and backgrounds, the exhibitors hope to create a space where reflection and discussions can take place, and also share in the creative energy of others to further their investigations. An important milestone in their studies, the exhibition also serves as an opportunity to celebrate the students’ achievements thus far. Viewers are encouraged to read the abstracts accompanying each artist’s work to engage more closely with the artist, the artworks themselves and as well as the various messages contained within.