In a time where the world is continually flooding us with digital media broadcast via the internet, through text, audio, video and graphic transmissions, the capturing and sharing of meaningful and impactful images has become an important and increasingly challenging means of communication.

Brought together by their mutual selection as the 2021 Nando’s Creative Exchange artists, Adrian Owen, Eric Rantisi, Llise Dodd and Mongezi Ncombo, come from four very diverse backgrounds shaped very differently within the South African context. With their individual perceptions of the world at large, they have sought to find commonality within their union.

The title “Life – We Get The Picture” suggests that we are driven to respond to how abnormal, challenging, happy and frustrating life used to be before Covid-19 moved the world; that all of us were predisposed to a certain sense of hope or possessed an innate natural optimism for a better future, only to find ourselves, over the last two years in abnormally difficult times.

The title theme proposes that humanity, as a singular community shares accountability and has less excuse not to see the ‘whole picture’ as the world of digital and visual media becomes ever more accessible with increasingly transparent information.

Humankind has been afforded time and again the opportunity to consider our collective understanding of what right and wrong choices have been made. Given the information at hand, we could effectively make the world a better place for everyone and everything that lives in it.
The exhibition theme and the process of communicating in their work and to each other demonstrate that the collective, and artists in general, are challenged with exploring underlying social issues, our vulnerabilities, our strengths, our collective experiences in the uncertainty of the Covid-19 crisis. “We do not take for granted our responsibility as artists to explore and investigate, through social commentary, the nature of the human condition.”

Adrian, Eric, Llise and Mongezi can only naturally concur in the current zeitgeist. “Our imperative as creatives is to remain adaptable and motivated in unpredictable times. ‘Life pictures’ in economically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually challenging times present themselves both ironically and metaphorically to the artists, in the actual physical act of creating art.”

Approaching the thematic ethos to their collaborative exhibition from four diverse viewpoints and varying styles is an example of how coherence is achievable. The fact that we share all the experiences collectively is where our strengths lie, – even in strangers who haven’t met.

“Life – We Get The Picture” is a rhetoric visual voice, a discourse from four artists with different backgrounds and lives in South Africa who are part of a broader global digital community. The artists endeavour through their work on the exhibition, to carry a survivor’s attitude of courage, motivation and connection, putting into perspective the importance of adapting and embracing a new epoch, given all that we have learned, and all life shows us with a shared anticipation of a brighter future.