‘Gae Lebowa’ - Exhibition walltext
“ke Tebogo George Mahasha peu ya Bolobedu, ke Molotswi, Mokoni, Mokhalaka, Kolobe ya Mohale, Mudau Tau ya Muvhango Dikolobeni.”
In the statement above George Mahashe contextualizes his name and pays homage to his ancestry. Gae Lebowa translate as ’Home North’ and refers to a psychological space, a general direction, a genealogical origin and a point of knowledge. In this exhibition Mahashe travels north to seek wisdom of his ancestry and finds old men and woman who are the metaphor for this knowledge. With this wisdom Mahashe explores the road that leads to his being. The photographic imagery shows the people he finds and the stories they relate. At the end he builds a legend from which the truth will be found.
Mahashe explains: ‘Gae Lebowa’ has become a meeting point for my two passions: from childhood I have been fascinated by women who wear the traditional cloth and dance to the drum, as well as the old men’s stories of days gone by, filling me with magical dreams of empires great and small. I have lived the wonder, traveled these enchanted realms and seen remains of these empires. But more than that I have realized that beyond the ruins, the drama and poetry, lies practicality and wisdom only found in a life lived. With the camera as my accomplice, and my subjects as actors, a legend takes shape as I move through the different worlds that shaped my being.
‘Gae Lebowa’ is a culmination of memory and poetry, a canvas and a mirror upon which the audience can build their own realities and contextualize their lived histories. Wisdom comes from living, having your own experiences and believing in yourself and the God within. To reach that state of peace - Go fihla Gae.
”Dumela mokgale, go tshepa ke go phela, tshepa Badimo le wena o fihle Modimong" - greetings ancient one; to believe is to live; trust the ancestor so that you may find God.