Tulipamwe which means ‘we are together’ when translated from Oshiwambo has become an exhibition platform for artists over the past twenty four years. It is a non-profit making empowerment project that is coordinated for the sole purpose of being a community outreach project for visual artists.
Since its inception the workshop has successfully brought together visual artists that work in different disciplines, who produce artworks using different mediums. The two week project which takes place annually has allowed artists from all walks of life within SADC and internationally to showcase their art to the public.
It consists of works ranging from wood and metal sculptures, paintings, photography and textiles, that celebrate the beauty of our Namibian landscapes.
The National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) which plays an important role by hosting and ensuring that Tulipamwe is well executed, has also created another platform through which they cater to members of the public. That platform exists to view the exhibitions after work through a programme called Happy Art Hour.
On the 9th of May, NAGN hosted a pre-Tulipamwe International Artists’ exhibition that is still up at the Upper Gallery and Foyer. The exhibition commemorates the historical development of the workshop under the theme ‘Tulipamwe Now and Then’.
‘Now and Then’ features artworks that describe the historical background since the establishment of Tulipamwe International Artists workshop until today. The main purpose of this exhibition was to trace whether the Tulipamwe International Artists workshop participants are still productive in their artistic careers.
The ‘Now and Then’ exhibition on display features a total number of 47 artworks in which 42 artworks are from the previously held workshops and 5 are recent works submitted by visual artists who took part in the past Tulipamwe workshops.
The exhibition is comprised of pieces from the likes of Petrus Amuthenu who depicts collected scenes in floating island and the lifestyle of a hunter and craftsman who wake up early to morning calls like fishing, milking cows, collecting fruit as a way of learning how to be a man of the house.
Another visual artist Filipus Sheehama in his pieces which he named ‘Claiming Namibian Identity’ make use of recycled materials in the Artwork titled ‘Claiming Namibian Identity’ to portray birds that were taken from Etosha National Park to a museum in Norway.
During a recently held Tulipamwe exhibition, NAGN Communications and Marketing Officer, Annapaula Vakamuena noted that Happy Art Hour has brought together a diverse group of individuals and has allowed people to have art talks and demonstrations.
She highlighted that Tulipamwe has also allowed artists to showcase their growth from when they started 24 years ago up to date.
Vakamuena further explained that the exhibition happens every two months and that the Happy Art Hour that is now on at the gallery is from a permanent collection.
“We take artists to remote areas and allow them to paint and draw, it has been a success thus far. It is however unfortunate that we can only accommodate 25 applications to exhibit their work”.