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Ellis tackles critical issues in exhibition

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

Visual artist Ellis Singano continued to show that batiks can be used as a tool for tackling pertinent issues during an exhibition he officially opened at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre on Saturday.

The exhibition, which was spiced up by performances from Agorosso and Jacaranda School for Orphans students, runs until March 5 2019.

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It comes at a time the artist is celebrating 20 years of batik and 20 years since his father, who taught him the art, passed on.

The 200-capacity JCC’s walls wore a new face with the batiks.

Ellis made a kill on the day, with a delegation from Shanghai American School from China buying most of the batiks.

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Shanghai American School team, which was expected to leave yesterday, comes every year for different projects in line with their partnership with Jacaranda School for Orphans in Blantyre.

The school gave Ellis, who came with his family, a surprise package of T-shirts inscribed with some of his artworks.

“I am excited with the exhibition; the batiks have sold out on the first day which is a surprise to me,” Ellis said.

Running on various themes such as Memories, Hold On and The Play, some of the batiks were a challenge for people to understand as their stories were not straight to the point. But that is the beauty of art.

“There are a lot of issues I am tackling. For instance, I am looking at the issue of children being dumped by parents, parents dumping children, children who have no chance to go to school because of various challenges as well as issues of abduction and the killing of people with albinism,” he said.

This is the fifth time for Ellis to hold an exhibition at JCC.

Catherine, from Shanghai American School, said it was the first time for her to sample batik art.

“I like the touch of the artworks and they are very interesting. Each batik is unique,” she said.

Visual artist Justice Gray also hailed Ellis for the exhibition.

“His works have inspired me to do more,” Gray said.

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