Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday - Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Open Thursdays until 7pm
EDU BLOG
Inspired by the Ndebele culture located in Northeastern South Africa, Namsa Leuba’s Ndebele Patterns photographic series is a distorted and unrecognizable representation of the Ndebele wall paintings that originate as far back as the 18th century. The patterns painted by this culture have immense symbolism for the people who create them, with each color, line, and shape having specific meanings. These meanings range from self-identity and prayers to emotions and marriages.
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What viewers of art director and photographer Namsa Leuba’s works see is the culmination of her upbringing and experiences. It is her uncommon dual citizenship that has exposed her to two differing cultures that allows us to observe her eccentric perspective of the circumstance via her photography. With a Guinean mother and a Swiss father, the customs and traditions of each culture intertwine and augment the outlook that is the foundation of her artworks. Her current exhibition Crossed Looks at the Halsey depicts the aspects of the unique societies, heritages, and beliefs of Guinea, Nigeria, Benin, South Africa, and Tahiti. Through the calculated configuration of her compositions, she not only contributes vibrant and beautiful portrayals of the communities she captures with her camera, but also calls on how these countries of subjecthood and colonialism are typically misrepresented and misinterpreted by Western mass media.
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Namsa Leuba’s series Cocktail and African Queens transcends fixed modes of representation with the incorporation of modern fashion influences. Leuba focuses in on the politics of gaze, exploring “who is looking, who is being looked at, and the medium of which this looking occurs.” However, it’s all about how the viewer is receiving her depictions.
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We asked fall 2021 intern Sallye to complete a writing activity from our teaching packet for "Namsa Leuba: Crossed Looks" She chose Poetry in Motion: When exploring Namsa Leuba: Crossed Looks a lot of descriptive words will come to mind. A fun activity may be using those words to create a poem or song about your favorite photograph, one of the series, or even the whole exhibition. You can work by yourself or with your group, write down single words that pop in your mind, for example: vibrant, serious, exciting. Then once your words or collected, string them together to make a song or poem!
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Namsa Leuba has a rich background in fashion, photography, and art direction. She utilizes her artistic ability to critique the stereotypes of Africa from the Western eye. Her fashion series are no exception to the excellence and meaning behind every one of her works. Even though her fashion series may have been commissioned, Namsa still plays with the ideas of “exoticism” in her works. These themes are shown in her collections: Tonköma, African Queens, and Cocktail. Her Tonköma series in particular blends seamlessly with her other works, fashion or not fashion related.
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In the first weeks of "Namsa Leuba: Crossed Looks" College of Charleston English faculty member and Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing Gary Jackson brought his courses for a tour of the exhibition. After hearing background information on Namsa Leuba and learning about the art director and photographer's methodology and the consistent threads in her work, the students were tasked with creating ekphrastic responses to works in the exhibition. After writing poems, prose, and short stories the students shared their pieces with their classmates. A handful of the students also agreed to contribute their work to our blog. Thank you to Amber Perry, Luke Shaw, and Eva Voros for sharing your work with us!
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The Halsey Institute's reference library, Biblioteca, has a wide range of titles related to wide range of subjects within the art, curiosities, and visual culture realms. For each exhibition we ask our interns to pull books from the selves that relate, in their eyes, to the themes, subject, and medium of the exhibitions on view. In this blog post, our fall 2021 intern Sallye shares why she chose Maske by photographer and past Halsey Institute artist Phyllis Galembo as a related book for the Namsa Leuba: Crossed Looks exhibition. Our Biblioteca catalog is searchable online so you can also find titles that you feel relate to the artworks in the galleries.
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Art Activity | You Are Here

Sat Jul 10, 2021
We asked our summer 2021 intern Maggie to complete one of the activities in the Educational Resource packet’s “Suggested Activities” for Jibade-Khalil Huffman: You Are Here. She chose Everyday Noise: Write/record the sounds you hear as you go about your day, as many as you can! What sounds would you include in your own installation? What sounds and music might you sharewith other people? How does closing your eyes and simply listening impact your experience? Are there any noises you may have not noticed until now?
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Art Activity | Wunderkammer

Fri Jul 02, 2021
We asked our summer 2021 intern Isabelle to complete one of the activities in the Educational Resource packet’s “Suggested Activities” for Dan Estabrook: Wunderkammer. She chose Portrait Activity: 1. Gather random materials around the house that you would like to photograph. 2. Arrange your materials in a way that looks like a human form, whether that be a face or body. Bottle caps can become eyes, rocks you have collected on hikes can become arms, and your bedside lip balm tube can become a mouth. 3. Photograph your materials with a mobile phoneto look like a portrait. Does it look like you? 4. Now edit your image. You can do this with the editing features on your phone, or if you have socialmedia photo editing apps, use those! If not, move the objects around and then take another photograph. You can even use the pen/marker feature of your phone to add further details. 5. Post the image to your social media or use it as your new profile picture. You can also print a copy of your portrait!
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Tintypes and Daguerreotypes

Sat Jun 26, 2021
Before we had the ability to take instant photos with our cell phones, in the 19th century the daguerreotype and tintype were the most common photography methods used to create images during the time. In the mid 1800’s, a man named Louis Daguerre helped develop the technology that would become the first publicly available photographic process to capture a still image. He used the pre-existing understanding of the Camera Obscura to form a method that would take images in clearer definition, and at a quicker rate.
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Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday - Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Open Thursdays until 7pm
843.953.4422


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