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‘Traditional Tales of Malawi’ sells 19

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An exhibition titled ‘Traditional Tales of Malawi’ by visual artists Ellis Singano and Panji Tembo officially closed on Saturday at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.

JCC and Maison de la France deputy director, Daisy Belfield, described the exhibition, which opened on February 10, as a success as 19 artworks were being sold.

“The exhibition was impressive with lots of stories. Panji and Ellis sold 19 works altogether. Through the exhibition the two artists also inspired young artists with their work, encouraging them to adopt their own styles and not to be motivated entirely by profits,” Belfield said.

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She encouraged schools to visit, JCC adding that they believe in encouraging young people to engage with Malawi’s creative arts industries.

“Tours, information, library inductions and treasure hunts are entirely free of charge,” Belfield said.

The two artists had time to interact with an art club of Face Secondary School of Zalewa during the exhibition.

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The exhibition also attracted many people and provoked many interesting discussions surrounding the importance of culture and traditions.

Singano said he sold 10 out of 14 batiks that he exhibited and that next up for him is a solo exhibition to be held in Lilongwe in July.

“I would like to thank people for their support during the exhibition,” he said.

This is the first exhibition to be held at JCC this year and saw the best of pieces from Tembo telling stories on music and traditional dances, among others, from the Northern Region while Singano, with his specialty in batik, told folktales from his late father’s book Tales of Old Malawi which was written in 1974.

Singano, who last year exhibited his work themed Turning the Tables at the same venue, where he sold eight batiks on the opening day, spoke highly of artists striving to create own work and avoid copying.

“You have to create your own work. Never do a piece of art that is someone’s work. There are so many artworks still to be made. You are not Picasso, you are you; make art from what comes within you,” Singano said.

Tembo said:

“If culture is handled badly, all humans suffer. If it is handled sensitively, all humanity thrives.”

He said it was up to the future generation to help with promoting the positive aspects of culture and leaving behind the negative aspects.

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