Artists from around Cape Town exhibited their work in the original slave quarters of Leeuwenhof, the premier’s official residence, at the official launch, on Saturday, of Leeuwenhof Slave Quarters Remembrance Gallery.
The gallery stretches out on the grounds of the 18th century estate, occupying the former slave quarters, the Bo-Tuin Huys and the garden in between.
Mr Winde said that when he and his wife, Tracy, had moved into Leeuwenhof they had learnt of the history of the buildings, including the old slave quarters. Reflecting on the “horror of slavery that taints our country’s past” they had decided to do something about it.
“This remembrance gallery is the result of the process that followed, and I would like to thank all involved for helping give a voice to those who were denied the most basic human rights all those years ago,” said Mr Winde.
The gallery will have three components. The first is an exhibition on the history of slavery, focussing on the enslaved people who lived and worked on the estate. It also includes a list of names of people who were enslaved at the estate.
The second is the art exhibition, where the social, cultural and economic legacies of slavery will be explored through art. Some of the works are from the permanent collection of the Cape Town Museum.
The third element is a rotating exhibition of art for sale, curated by the Association for Visual Arts (AVA). The submitted work does not necessarily reflect slavery although the artist may have had a connection with the history of slavery at the Cape. Saturday night’s exhibition is the first of a series of five exhibitions planned until March next year.
The gallery will be open to the public every first Saturday of the month, from 10am until 2pm, and by appointment.
Guided tours of both the historical exhibition and the rotating art exhibition will also then be available. These tours are coordinated by AVA and the Cape Town Museum.