Uplifting a community through art

2011-10-13 00:00

A SERIES of paintings, many of which have been inspired by scenes of simple everyday life, have been created by ­Zakhele Moses Hlatshwayo for an ­exhibition which can be seen at the ­KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg.

Born in Bergville, Hlatshwayo is currently head of department and art teacher at Ashdown Primary School.

He first started creating art as a schoolboy, and admits that his family thought he was mad to be interested in “making pictures”.

“No one in my family knew how to draw or paint,” he added, “but when I was at primary school the principal, Mr Lembethe, and one of the teachers, Mrs Mbatha, encouraged me to pursue my dream of being an artist.”

Their encouragement, and that of teachers when he went on to high school, meant the world to Hlatshwayo, who has since gone on to receive the ­distinguished Creative Arts Award by Creative Class Awards Imiklomelo Yezingqalabuthu, who hosted its inaugural event in August.

The Creative Class Awards are an ­initiative by the KwaZulu-Natal ­Premier’s office, which aims to identify and celebrate local unsung heroes who have played a role in the upliftment and ­development of their communities.

Hlatshwayo also received the 1979 Santam Award, was a Brett Kebble Art Awards finalist in 2004, and a finalist in the Nivea Art Awards in Durban in 2007, and the Spier Contemporary Art ­competition in Cape Town last year.

The KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street, Pietermaritzburg, will be showing 16 of his latest illustrations over two weeks.

Hlatshwayo has also exhibited at the Tatham Art Gallery, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Durban Art Gallery, the Cape Town International Convention Centre, at Caversham Press in the ­midlands, and at Indaleni College of Education and School of Art.

His preferred medium is mixed media and wood, but he also produces ceramic and cement sculptures.

If you would like to get in touch with Hlatshwayo, phone 071 745 1423 or 071 409 7358.

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