‘A sense of belonging’, were do you belong to, to which culture, to which group, to which family, to which generation.
The presented works reflect a sense of belonging; Raafat Ballan expresses a sense of belonging to family – he paints isolated figures and the presence of absence, in bold colours tinged with humor. Benine du Toit shows the tension to belong to a group and the harsh struggle involved. A sense of belonging seems far away because of polarisation and the fear of each other. Option’s work features urban youth involved in the challenges of our society. Meanwhile pays his work also tribute to older generations, and ancestors.
Benine du Toit (1989) was born in conservative Apartheid South Africa. "I was part of the younger generation confronted with the sad, harsh realities of my homeland. Social, political, cultural and ethnic differences cause high tensions and polarization. Everyone lives in his own reality and fear of the other, something that is increasingly happening in the rest of the world and the Netherlands. I use scenes and photos from police archives and media, fragments of reality. I work with charcoal and paint. The rawness, roughness and expressiveness of charcoal combined with paint is unpredictable and gripping. Just like the vast contrasts in South Africa, it constantly changes and is never complete." Benine du Toit is one of the nominees of the Royal Award for painting 2020 and currently exhibiting in the Palace in Amsterdam.
Raafat Ballan (1990) shows a series he started last year under the title (House) it is about flashback memory and moments of an imaginary family. ” Raafat Ballan’s paintings are essentially transcending tense domestic situations and victims of violence in Syria into stilled compositions with isolated figures. Ballan’s work is in many respects a balancing between acquired academic skills and a response to the coalescence of events spurred by the strife in his homeland and hometown. Whereas his work stylistically pays debts to canonical modern masters, such as Francis Bacon, Ballan’s attitude feels more akin to Syrian colleagues in the diaspora, such as Marwan. Ballan participates in shows in the Netherlands and abroad.
Born in Harare in 1992 and raised in Rusape, Option Dzikamai Nyahunzvi began sketching at an early age. He has developed a versatility that allows him to elegantly express himself when printmaking, painting, or using mixed media. The exploration of the impact of technology on urban youth in townships as well as the illusions, attractions and trappings of contemporary township life thematically unite Option’s work. He has featured in a number of exhibitions and Art fairs both on the domestic and international scene. He participates in Helende kracht in het Tropenmuseum (2021). He is also a fellow of the Thami Mnyele Foundation Amsterdam