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The works of a visionary Featured

  • Written by 
The late visionary Jackson Hlungwani The late visionary Jackson Hlungwani

Arts Correspondent

The exhibition, Jackson Hlungwani - A New Jerusalem will open on 18 June at the UJ Art Gallery, University of Johannesburg Kingsway Campus, after a successful run at the Polokwane Municipal Art Museum in Limpopo. The exhibition, funded by the MTN SA Foundation, provides a retrospective overview of the legendary artistís sculptures, prints, tools, sacred New Jerusalem site, and philosophy.

Curator Anneli Cabano-Dempsey said all of the work on show was borrowed from public collections and individual collectors, who kindly contributed some of the most important pieces created during the artistís lifetime

Hlungwani is one of South Africaís most celebrated sculptors. During his life, and since his passing in 2010, this Limpopo artist has grown as a legend, not only because of his unique and powerful sculptures, but also because of his renown as a preacher and visionary,î she said.

Since the 1980s, his work has been exhibited in Europe and America, and is represented in major public and private art collections, nationally and internationally.

The exhibition was first conceptualised by Amos Letsoalo at the Polokwane Municipal Art Museum, and then developed by curator Nessa Leibhammer. 

It consists of some 40 artworks, artefacts and biographical photographs, providing a comprehensive overview of Hlungwaniís contribution to South African art,î Cabano-Dempsey said.

Visitors will be able to marvel at sculptures such as Leaping Fish, Double Fish, and Emperor Fish, as well as Godís Leg with Eggs, The Hand of God, and Christ Playing Football.

Cabano-Dempsey said the works will be complimented by large photographic images that show the world of Hlungwani as he carved, taught and inspired.

Also on exhibition is a visual pilgrimage through Hlungwaniís New Jerusalem site, comprising 40 never-before-seen photographs taken by architect Peter Rich in the early 1980s, as well as an annotated map of the site, drawn by Rich.î

The exhibition will be complimented by an educational programme for students, schools and communities. Jackson Hlungwani ñ A New Jerusalem will run between 18 June and 16 July at UJ Art Gallery, University of Johannesburg Kingsway Campus. For more info visit www.uj.ac.za

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