The lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone is a sight to behold, thanks to an exhibition of artworks by renowned creative genius and photographer Gonna Elvis of The Photographers.
The exhibition forms part of the hotel’s ‘PushaBW’ initiative that seeks to support local artists in which all proceeds go directly to the artist.
“The month-long partnership, which has the potential to be extended, came from an aspect of having an aligned vision as the hotel was looking to infuse a sense of culture and actually sell a Botswana story to its international visitors,” Elvis told Time Out.
“I think I was the perfect person to engage to assist in achieving their vision. This partnership came at the perfect time for us as a country hosting the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit that almost coincided with May as Africa Month.”
Elvis is a professional and decorated photographer who has captured a unique part of Botswana’s culture and whose work has showcased the country’s contribution to Africa’s identity.
He currently has five artworks on display and plans to add three more.
One of the artworks is titled “Magadi.” It depicts a red sky and fire to signify the intense life changing moment that takes place at the crack of dawn when elderly women discuss how they have raised a young bride about to be married off to another family.
He told Time Out: “I am only selling fine art photography, more like abstract prints on canvas, only. Most of my images are highly Botswana-culture concentrated.
“What makes my work stand out is the fact that my subject is usually of focus to give a clear view of my intent and message in my photographs. I love texture and obscure or unscathed colour patterns.”
Appreciation of art
Elvis added that exhibitions are always beneficial because they re-energise appreciation of art. In his view, having the public marvel at a well-expressed piece of art and stopping in their treks to appreciate the work is more than beneficial for an artist.
“My target audience is basically anyone,” he said. “The artworks are priced from P4000 to P10 000. Any lover of art or Botswana culture, anyone intrigued or anyone who can relate with my story, is eventually the intended target market.”