Nov 23 - Jan 28 2018
Cnr Joubert St and Kotze St, Braamfontein
Marking the 21st anniversary of the South African Bill of Rights, Constitution Hill teams up with heritage foundation Ifa Lethu to present Looking back… Moving forward , an exhibition of apartheid-era artists from the Ifa Lethu’s expansive collection.
One of South Africa’s lesser-known heritage collections, it began in the 1970s when Australian diplomats Diane Johnstone and Bruce Haigh donated their personal art collections to Ifa Lethu. An anti-apartheid supporter Johnstone had purchased the artworks on visits to townships and the artworks tell the unsung stories of the everyday reality of the black population under apartheid.
Since then the project and collection has grown to be one of South Africa’s largest heritage repatriation efforts and predominantly features works by black artists such as Nathaniel Mokgosi, Winston Saoli, Johnny Ribeiro, and Ranko Pudi. Looking back… Moving forward offers the public a rare chance to see and purchase from the collection. Set as a juxtaposing narrative to the collection are the contemporary artworks by three emerging young South African artists, Michael Selekane, Turiya Magadlela and Lee-Roy Jason, which interrogate the issues facing South Africa's current political climate.
Michael Selekane's Migration explores movement patterns of migration and the consequences of those patterns, inspired by his displacement from his home province Mpumalanga and his work with the artists represented in the Ifa Lethu collection. 2015 FNB Art Prize-winner Turiya Magadlela, the daughter of Fikile Magadlela whose work is featured in the Ifa Lethu collection, delves into female personal experiences of woman and motherhood, working primarily with common fabrics such as pantyhose and correctional service uniforms to create abstract compositions. Lee-Roy Jason became former liberation-struggle newspaper The Sowetan's youngest photographer at the tender age of sixteen. He focuses his lens on social, economical and political inequalities left by apartheid. His previous works include documentaries on land reforms, gender abuse, transgender stories and the #FeesMustFall movement.
The exhibition will run in the Old Fort ramparts, concurrently with the Memories of the Struggle :Australians against Apartheid exhibition.