From 1966 District Six in Cape Town to Zambia and back – the start of this writer’s journey

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Family, History, Mpapa Gallery, Politics, Racism, Religion, South Africa, Southern Africa, When I Was Bad, Zambia14 Comments

Beyond reconciliation – a virtual walk through different faiths At the start of this week, I was invited to participate in this online event by Nic Paton, grandson of Alan Paton, author of Cry The Beloved Country. Thank you, Nic! The event was organised by the District Six Reconciliation Day Interfaith Walk. It was a healing and uplifting hour and […]

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 […]

BLACK LIVES MATTER and Zambian art history

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Freedom Fighters, Human rights, Mpapa Gallery, Politics, Power, Printmaking, Race, Racism, South Africa, Southern Africa, Visual Arts, War, Zambia4 Comments

Black lives have always mattered – not just since the crisis of George Floyd’s murder. Everyone I worked with in Zambia had always felt the same about the fight against racism and it was fundamental to my own art and my work with Zambian artists. Black lives have mattered for centuries Mpapa Gallery and the best art possible In 1984 […]

The Shaping of Water

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Apartheid, Books by Ruth Hartley, Colonialism, Creativity, Displacement, Freedom Fighters, Identity, Politics, Power, Southern Africa, The Shaping of Water2 Comments

Returning to the past to build the future This year I time-travelled back more than 30 years. I returned to the Ridgeway Hotel in Lusaka to the place where golden weaver birds build their nests above small sun-worshipping crocodiles. Here, there once was the excellent Zintu craft shop, a regular Zambian ladies lunch, an Independence Day National Art Exhibition and […]

Women and art

Ruth HartleyEducation, Feminism, Race, Southern Africa, Visual Arts, ZambiaLeave a Comment

Women’s Art from the Lechwe Heritage Collection The Lechwe Trust in Lusaka, Zambia, has an exhibition of art created by women from this Sunday, 8th March, International Women’s Day. I’m honoured to be included in it and to share the space with so many other artists I know and admire. There are a total of 32 artists – many with […]