Opening ‘Side by Side: Namafu Amutse and Candice Mouton’

This exhibition opened at The Village Opera House, Windhoek, Namibia on 3 February 2023. It formed the first in a series of two person exhibitions curated by us at StArt Art Gallery throughout the year. At the opening, we heard from the two artists and close friends, Namafu Amutse and Candice Mouton.

“When I started off with photography, I never thought that this is where I’d find myself, but here I am, Side by Side with StArt Art Gallery, with Candice, family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers. Thank you to each and everyone of you for coming tonight. Your continuous support of artists in this country is one of the many reasons we won’t stop creating. You keep the space alive and remind us constantly that it matters. I hope that our work can inspire you and take you to a place of peace and tranquillity. Tonight I am especially excited for you all to finally be able to experience a glimpse of the unique brilliance that is Candice’s work. And lastly, I would like to dedicate this exhibition to my brothers Benhard, Dre and Ndawedwa, they are the true stars of ‘Soft’ and ‘Chrysalis’ and this night is as much theirs as it is ours.

Helen, you and Gina have made this special day come true for both Candice and I and we will never be able to thank you enough for your continuous support of our work and artist journey’s. 

My dearest Candice, I am extremely honoured to have our artwork share this space. We have dreamt of many things, but for some reason this one wasn’t one of them and for it to find us so unexpectedly is nothing short of a blessing. I have had the absolute pleasure of watching as you created these paintings and I as already mentioned, I am so excited for everyone else to experience your unique brilliance. You are one of the best artist this world will ever see.”

Namafu Amutse

“I would firstly like to start off my speech by thanking everyone for showing up tonight to our exhibition. It feels incredibly surreal to be standing in front of everyone to show some of my work that has lived in my room for such a long time, reason being for quite some time I’ve second-guessed my work and thought ‘nope my art won’t be taken seriously, maybe I should drop it now’. I think it’s a struggle all creatives go through and to that I have to say thank you to StArt Art gallery for holding a space for my work, taking my art seriously and helping me exhibit me and curating my very first exhibition, alongside my best friend. Thank you Helen and Gina.

I also want to thank my best friend Namafu for always believing in me and my work and wanting to share this moment with me. Namafu, thank you for constantly inspiring me to create. Your kind and beautiful spirit has poured over in all your work. When Namafu creates her artworks, she creates without inhibition and makes use of little nicknacks and hand-made elements, turning them into beautiful and awe-inspiring portraiture, something I can only observe in pure admiration. Her vision comes to life in the most authentic way and I cannot help but try and imitate the same magic that radiates from her work. I am so blessed to be able to exhibit alongside her and hope you guys enjoy the work that looks at childhood and memories. I hope that our work speaks to you and please enjoy the night.”

Candice Mouton

Side by Side: Namafu Amutse and Candice Mouton is on at The Village Opera House from 4 February to 22 March 2023. You can browse the exhibition catalogue by clicking below: