Miss Placed

Wednesday night I attended the opening of Annemie Odendaal’s first South African art exhibition, Miss Placed, at Brooklyn Theatre. Her very first exhibition was held in Paris, France in January this year, and we were very excited to see what she created during her stay in Paris! And I can tell you that she did not disappoint!

Annemie’s work is divided into series that varies from linocuts, etches, ink sketches, charcoal drawings and oil paintings. Each one of these individual pieces tells a story of its own and has the ability to pull you into a world that you never knew existed. A world where everything is magical and beautiful!

It was a beautiful, well put together and a very thoughtful exhibition that ignited a whole lot of different emotions in me. However, Annemie had to deal with an obstacle or two prior to the opening and then had some bad news afterwards as well.

On Monday they had to make a decision to either continue with the opening or cancel due to the recent announcement with regards to the COVID-19 virus on Sunday. This was not a decision that was to be taken lightly and the parties involved had to put their minds together in order to make the correct decision for everyone, especially the guests, involved. After taking all the facts into consideration the majority vote was to continue with the exhibition. For the artist as well as the owners of the theater it was a huge risk and they had no idea how the public would react to their decision. All the necessary precautions were taken and I have to say, it was handled very well from both sides.

My personal opinion is that I think they made the right decision. Because we are misplaced; we are lost and we are all a little broken. We live in a world filled with so much rage, fear, hate, anger and resentment. Now, with the virus we have excess paranoia from all over the media platforms and people are really scaring each other with facts filled with false information and constant negativity all day long. We are living in such closed down world already and everybody are fighting on their own, forgetting what it feels like to stand together. We are social beings, inherently. We need each other. We always will.

To me, the exhibition did exactly what I think the artist’s intention was. She wanted to change the world. And what she accomplished Wednesday night, keeping in mind that the probability of the public crucifying her for continuing the exhibition, was tremendously brave and beautiful. Even though the exhibition was kept short as part of the precautions, for as little as two hours it felt like I was in another world where none of the things we read in the paper or hear on the news, mattered or even existed. I felt inspired, free and fearless. I wandered around the halls with my glass of wine, filled with extraordinary art and I felt so light, so in awe and so happy! Some of us did this route twice or three times just to gather everything of what is being told in each artwork, trying to take in as much as we could from this magical experience.

The artist managed to create a wonderland for her friends, supporters and fellow art lovers with this exhibition. We were able to take time and be thankful and acknowledge the greatness of what life has been and will be giving us! What she gave us was a moment filled with hope and dreams. Something, most of us, have been longing for.

Unfortunately the exhibition, that was supposed to be for a month, was taken down two days later due to the latest announcement of COVID-19.

The artist have a few more exhibitions coming up this year and may even have a surprise up her sleeve, you never know!

Stay tuned in on her Facebook page (Annemie Odendaal – Art) or her Instagram account (annemie_odendaal).

You can be sure that whatever is happening will be announced there and on my personal IG account as well!

While most of you are at home, take the time to let me know what you would like to read about or what inspires you ;-)

I hope you are all safe and taken care of.

Remember, we have survived wars in the past, this too shall pass.