Dudu More, also known as DuduBloom, is the winner of the 2019 Cassirer Welz Art Prize

A reflection : Dudu More blooms bearing enormous talent

Dudu More, also known as DuduBloom, is the winner of the 2019 Cassirer Welz Art Prize, a long – standing institution with a history of showcasing young artists in the South African Visual arts sector, with the talent to make a deep impact in the field. And this, she proved in her solo exhibition at Kalashnikovv Gallery in February 2020, weaving herself in the contemporary Art space,with a well – thought entry.  

As young South African artists are challenged with finding pathways to pull through during the Covid-19 pandemic, DuduBloom is one of the few who had the opportunity to exhibit her work, a couple of weeks before the announcement of the South African lockdown. A totally new world overcame a humongous number of artists with hopes of carving a space in the Art world have been affected. Of course, with this reality, comes moments of self – introspection and my last encounter with an exhibition space was at DuduBloom’s much anticipated exhibition, titled, ‘Delicate,Tendency, Response.’

The Cassirer Welz Art Prize gave light to DuduBloom’s work, without the worry of paying for studio time as well art supplies. For a change, artists with great potential, through the important initiative are supported to break into the industry, forging relationships, which would otherwise be difficult to afford, in spaces of historical significance such as the Bag Factory Artist Studios. And in addition, existing in a highly competitive environment, coupled with an economic need to survive.

Now, more than ever, artists, need these kinds of platforms to realize the full spectrum of their creativity. DuduBloom alluded her application to art – making to her own healing process, and candidly created in this movement, weaving together a physicality of her own response to trauma and recovery.

The harsh orange woolen threads spun into shapes, lightly intertwined with light hues of blue, rendering imagery of sacrifice, sensitivity, innocence and courage, precisely distilling restful moments of pause and reflection. As a precursor to what was to follow, stepping into the exhibition, my attention was drawn to a set of isolated miniature works, arranged with the viewers’ eye level,in mind, focusing on the soft cycles on each handful, intricate piece. Each one, deliberately created with string, wool, acrylic and found material. The balance in dealing with trauma galvanized a preparation in triggering a response to healing.

The purposeful offering of small works shows a maturity in a young artists’ practise, underpinned by her studies in printmaking at the arts college, Artist Proof Studios, also situated in downtown Johannesburg. She references the medium as a symbolic link to her elementary entry in re-discovering the many nuances in art-making. With any traumatic experience, it’s an artists’ choice to either reflect the times they’re living in or recalibrate. I understood DuduBloom’ s work in the former, remembering the many parts of her exhibition that remained with me. 

With many arts institutions affected in the fight against Covid-19, the Bag Factory Artist Studios running their own crowdfunding campaign in support of the African art scene, and stands with artists such DuduBloom, working from home, plotting and etching ways to navigate the changing landscape of the Arts, once again.

It is a difficult time but none that will stop Duduzile More. Her 2 week exhibition at Kalashnikovv Gallery, managed by an artist and curator team, illustrated great promise, tenacity and innovation for an era in which visual literacy can be used to unpack intense moments in our lifetime. 

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About the author

Palesa Motsumi

Palesa Motsumi is the Founder of Sematsatsa Library, a creative consultancy. She is a writer, communications practitioner by training and has worked as Art consultant for various artists in the past.
Her writing has mostly been featured in independent publications and is currently working on her first non-fiction book, titled, Mantsho. She based between Bloemfontein (South Africa) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

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