I could not see past the six-month mark when I started BKhz Gallery on Juta Street in Braamfontein. Then 24 years old, I had planned for three to six months at most. Now, the gallery has been open for two years, and that is worth celebrating.
I chose the location to give back to my younger self. Braamfontein was the place of entertainment and inspiration, where I could see something completely different. I wanted to attract the 18-year-old who could be inspired. We don’t have enough young people who show us we can make it.
The Stevenson Gallery was a major inspiration. Growing up, I always wanted to be in that space. Realising I could create something like it was a game changer. I opened the gallery next to them. It was a beautiful and major moment.
As I told Dinika Govender, Bkhz is a platform for creatives to showcase their art with a support system. It is the space I wanted when I was breaking into the art market. Most often black creatives are forced to take on too many things to feed their families and their passion. This divides their attention, taking away energy that could go into their projects. We assist the artists we take on to try and enable them towards making art their full-time practice.
It’s a privilege for me to be fully immersed each day in the building of BKhz. As an artist and gallerist, I have learned a lot about myself in the past two years. These are the lessons and the works that have stayed with me.
By Banele Khoza, as told to Danielle Bowler.
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