Helen Lieros and the Delta Gallery

Ruth HartleyArt Gallery, Art Process, Mpapa Gallery, Southern Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe2 Comments

Honouring Helen Lieros I heard yesterday the sad news that Helen Lieros had died after a short illness. Helen was an artist whose paintings and murals had a spiritual luminosity and beauty that made them unforgettable and inspiring. She was recently honoured by the government of Zimbabwe as one of the Living Legends of the Cultural and Creative Industries. In […]

Lines in the sand erased in the sea of history

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Colonialism, Creativity, History, Power, Slavery, SuffrageLeave a Comment

‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ There was a regular history exam question at my school that asked students to debate whether ‘the hour made the man or the man made the hour’. It usually related to a period of history that we had just finished studying. For example – did Britain’s survival in WW2 depend solely on Winston Churchill’s […]

Beauty, culture, colonialism and the purpose of art

Ruth HartleyAesthetics, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Festival, Hamera and Hartley, Installations, m’Other Art, Religion, Visual Arts3 Comments

Can standards of beauty be imposed on artists? What is beauty and is it an essential part of art? Is there such a thing as a universal standard of beauty in art? I ask because the questions are relevant to discussions about the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures. That’s an enormous subject and there won’t be any quick or […]

Art, beauty, colonialism and Mpapa Gallery

Ruth HartleyAesthetics, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Education, Mpapa Gallery, Visual Arts, Zambia6 Comments

Discussion about art and beauty – and art and colonisation – is challenging. My past connection with Zambia and Mpapa Gallery, and my present connection with post-colonialism and my own art are about how I live my life. It has been said that Mpapa Gallery was colonial in its support for artists. Mpapa Gallery wasn’t and couldn’t be colonial for […]

Aesthetics, colonialisation of culture, and Mpapa Gallery

Ruth HartleyAesthetics, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Mpapa Gallery, Southern Africa, Visual Arts, ZambiaLeave a Comment

A time of discovery and learning Looking back at Mpapa Gallery we faced several important challenges which will interest Zambian artists today. The fact that the gallery was run by three practising African artists – me, Ruth Hartley, Cynthia Zukas, Patrick Mweemba, and started by Joan Pilcher, who had studied art at the Evelyn Hone College meant that we were […]