Wits Art Museum – Drop & Draw

Nine hundred years of time and space, and I've never been slapped by someone's mother. Well, you're very similar heights. Maybe you should wear labels. Oh, I always rip out the last page of a book.

This month’s WAM (Wits Art Museum) Drop and Draw was really nicely full. The exhibition “Broken Land” by photographer and journalist Daylin Paul was the site of all of the excitement. Students from “Artists Press Studio” and a gaggle of school children filled the space.

Bronwen Findlay who facilitates the monthly experience explained the exhibition and sent us to either a collaborative long piece of paper on tables or the floor or individual paper on boards to draw in black pencil, charcoal or black ink. Everyone got to it straight away.

The exhibition is a documentation of people’s lives in Mpumalanga where 11 of the coal powered power stations are. The black and white images illustrate the impact that the pollution of the surroundings. The air quality being among the worst in the world.

Paul says that the exhibition is a “documentary of the cost of extracting and burning coal an indictment against any notion of ‘clean coal’ and a testimony to the reality of those living close to the coal It is also a portent into the terrifying future we face” .

The exhibition highlights the impact that the air and water pollution is having on the local communities. Communities that are not benefitting from the economic empowerment that was supposed to happen in the area.

The stories are told in the photographs and the explanations on the side and below.

Bronwen gently goes around offering support for the artists as they participate.

Look at this evocative drawing of the image

All drawings are totally different – so interesting.

And far too quickly the hour is over and the assistant is clearing up. Our stories are told. We all go home.

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