Fine art in Botswana is usually inspired by several
factors. The tribes of Botswana are diverse, and in their diversity are very
different cultures and ways of life. The fine arts are both in the form of
painting as well as music. For most of the artists who focus on Botswana, their
work is mostly informed by the geography, flora and fauna of Botswana. This is
clear testimony of the rich landscape, wildlife and plants that one can find in
Group exhibition by The Botswana Pavilion at Gallery MOMO, Cape Town. 23 May - 6 June 2019.
The fine art in general is as wide as anyone’s imagination
may be. It cannot be denied that this art tells Botswana’s story and anyone meeting
the art can understand the country better.
The painting in the country exhibits a deliberate effort to express the
way of life of the people. For instance, in the Kalahari Desert, there are
ancient paintings of the Khoisans. The Khoisans were hunters and gatherers and
in the paintings one can see this expressly told. The paintings clearly tell
the story of the Khoisans’ way of life. This can be seen in the animals and
hunting weapons found in the art.
COSBOTS (Copyright Society of Botswana) & BURS (Botswana Unified Revenue Service) visit Thapong Visual Arts Centre to speak to artists about art & the law of Botswana.
Video: COSBOTS & BURS visit Thapong Visual Arts Centre
There has been sustained effort by sculptors as artists to send a message as well. Works of giraffes, elephants, lions’ women working, men at war, tell the story of the traditional lifestyle in Botswana. However, with modernization and development, sculptors have taken this into account. Numerous modern features have been incorporated in various works of art relating to Botswana. Fine art in Botswana has travelled far and wide and reached a wide audience in the world. From posters to greeting cards, iPhone cases to Galaxy cases, these pieces of art carry an aspect of Botswana.
A collection of Artworks by Botswana artists on display at the Thapong Visual Arts Centre Gaborone
Video: Botswana Art at Thapong
They have been used and are still being used by
millions of people all around the world.
Moreover, photographs of various phenomena in Botswana are also
available. Photographs cover geographical features, wildlife, vegetation and
economic and social activities. Social activities such as festivals and dances
were important in traditional Botswana. In the modern world photographs have been
used to capture their cities and modern ways of life.
Botswana’s history and historical events are also
recorded using this kind of art. Forming
part of Botswana’s famous art are woven baskets and mats. These are mainly done
by women. Even in modern Botswana some of the citizens still weave these items
as an economic engagement and to perpetuate their traditional cultures. The art in Botswana extends wider to jewelry.
There are different kinds of jewelry; those worn by men and those worn by women.
The jewelry that is most common is made from beads mixed together to produce an attractive pattern. They are also diverse in the context of where they are worn. Ceramics and glass art are part of the evolving art of Botswana. Though these may not have been traditionally used in art, they have become an integral part of modern art from Botswana. Molten glass can be modified into various shapes to give the king of art required.
- Vision -
Inspiration - Intention
Target - Goal - Strategy
A mind that is stretched by new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes – 1841-1935,
Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Fine art in Botswana
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