Un-mute my tongue – an exhibition of paintings by Ayanda Mabulu
I feel privileged to host this exhibition. Ayanda is a fine talent; young, hungry and self-taught. This exhibition is an introduction to the world of a man who in all probability will one day be recognised as one of South Africa’s finest surrealist artists. The paintings are provocative. His colours are rich and his composition is good.
But, feeling privileged to host this exhibition goes beyond that. With this exhibition, Ayanda ventures onto a terrain where the truth is often uncomfortable. White and black, politics and power, religion in the broader sense, these are sensitive issues and his blatant honesty may offend some people. Fortunately Ayanda refuses to be intimidated by the offended. “If I don’t say it, I live a lie” he says.
I feel privileged because this exhibition is part of the bigger picture. It helped me, a white male in my forties living a very comfortable existence, understand more about Ayanda, a black male in his twenties living in Dunoon, one of the most deprived townships in Cape Town. I absolutely believe in the importance of him saying what he does and me showing it without trying to sensor or impose. Nothing in his paintings are new, but a lot about it is, certainly in much of my world, unspoken about. Ayanda has said it. There it is, out in the open. Deal with it. Maybe now we will get somewhere.