GALLERY | A glimpse into Nelson Makamo’s latest exhibition

Image: Courtesy of the artist

World-renowned artist Nelson Makamo’s latest exhibition, Human Grace, explores black lives and black communities with an underlying feeling of optimism, or human grace as his exhibition title suggests.

The body of work, which he created during a residency at Everard Read Leeu Estates in Franschhoek earlier this year, is an attempt to capture everyday people going about their ordinary lives in the chaos that is the city.

The works, medium- and close-up portraits, have mainly been done using charcoal, ink, acrylic, oil and watercolours and at their very heart, they convey warmth and emotion. As Makamo says: “My work will always talk to the grace of humanity.”

GALLERY: A sneak peek into Makamo's latest works

Cape Town-based academic, writer and cultural theorist Ashraf Jamal writes about Makamo's exhibition: "In Makamo’s Franschhoek studio I discover a counterweight to cynical pragmatism. His township portraits ... are not the product of cynical influence. They stem from an integral grasp of the health of the community in which he was raised.

"What immediately strikes one is emotion. Makamo emotes, drawing one into the theatre of the moment. But what is more striking is the quality of feeling. If the works possess a deep structure of feeling, it is because they are life-affirming."

Human Grace opened on 31 March and will be running until the end of April at Everard Read Cape Town in the V&A Waterfront.