Apartheid art comes home

2010-06-25 14:33

A collection of long-lost art has found its way back home after

being ostracised by the apartheid government for being “ethnographic and


Featuring 320 works by mostly black South African artists, the

exhibition is titled Home and Away: A Return to the South.

The painters sold their work to foreign diplomats after failing to

receive recognition at home, in effect sending their work into exile. The Ifa

Lethu Foundation has been working to repatriate the works ever since.

Thakani Hadebe, Ifa Lethu’s project officer, says: “Most of those

who bought the art are willing to donate it back, including Australian diplomats

Bruce Haigh and Dianne Johnstone.”

The paintings feature work by Nathaniel Mokgosi, Eric Mbatha and

Victor Gordon, among others.

One untitled work by Gavin Jantjies depicts two

­brick-wielding youngsters with dustbin lids behind barbed wire ready to throw

stones, reminiscent of the Soweto uprisings.

Some of the artists have died – a shame because the aim of the

exhibition is to recognise ­artists in their own country.

»? The exhibition runs at The Old Fort at Constitution Hill until

July 31

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