In typical New Years fashion, ARTWOLFE zine made a number of resolutions about how we wanted to do things in 2015 and what we are hoping to achieve. Change is afoot and this issue, Vol. 4 Issue 2, is here to show just how.
First off, we are taking the step to upgrade our humble WordPress site and jazz up our online presence. We will publish new issues of ARTWOLFE online on the 15th and last day of every month from now on. Every four issues will be printed together into a single beautifully formatted zine that will be made available at our usual outlets (The National Gallery of Namibia, Orumbonde Books and Danger.Art gallery in Windhoek.)
And while we would never suggest that printing ARTWOLFE is a waste of paper, the subject of paperless publishing is appropriate to the theme for this issue, which is… Art and the Environment. As ever, we are especially interested in Namibian artists and the Namibian environment and the articles that follow all deal with different, inter-disciplinary artistic approaches being undertaken in Namibia that promote environmental awareness and appreciation and contribute to social transformation.
This crucial topic is explored by two of our favourite most loyal contributors – Rob Namaseb and Bobby Kanjoosa, who look at architecture and fashion respectively. Read Rob’s article about Habitat Research and Development Centre, to get some perspective on the artistry and alchemy involved in making housing sustainable and resource-sensitive in Namibia. For a relatively under-populated country that still hasn’t worked out how to provide humane shelter for all its citizens, Habitat may offer key solutions to Namibia’s housing challenges.
Bobby’s article covers an equally vital topic – the fashion industry’s (largely negative) impact on our environment. It’s not all bad news, however, as he champions the work of young designer in Namibia working with recycled material, turning the wasted into the wanted.
Turning to the visual arts, we are happy to welcome two new contributors, Kaja Rubbert and Caitlin Cairns. These two visual arts students from Windhoek International School (WIS) visit an exhibition once a week to further their knowledge and inspire their own artwork. This is their first time writing for publication and we look forward to their future contributions. For this issue they have written a review on the work of Christine Marais, a pioneer of artistic-environmental activism, who brought numerous books on Namibian wildlife, flora, geology and even fossils to life through her memorable paintings and illustrations.
Last but not least, Helen Harris revisits a landmark exhibition that took place in 2013 – Land Matters in Art. She discusses the lasting impact and relevance of the exhibition and its prickly underlying subject – land reform, asking big questions about artistic and social responsibility.
We hope you find these collected opinions informative and insightful. The matter of how we approach our environment as artists and citizens is surely one that many people feel strongly about. As ever, we welcome commentary and feedback on every subject we raise.
Don’t forget, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr!
the ARTWOLFE team