national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, July 31, 2009


Touring solo museum exhibition of Newcastle-born Mbongeni Buthelezi.

The Seippel Gallery, in association with Art Source South Africa, recently launched the opening of Mbongeni Buthelezi's first national touring exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum where it will run until August 16.

Titled Imizwa Yami (….my feelings), this exhibition is a showcase of this exceptional artist’s expression of his South African experience. Born in 1965 in Newcastle, KZN, Mbongeni Buthelezi is described as a “painter’ in plastic, layering coloured plastic melted together with a heat gun, which reflects a profoundly empathetic vision of his world.

“I now have 18 different techniques, each of which have subtle differences from the other,” says Buthelezi. “The material can be applied like large ‘brushstrokes’ in many colours, or a sepia toned portrait where layers of neutral shading creates visual depth and subtlety or with through linear drawings.”

On show are black and white portraits, works from the series Childhood, sepia paintings from the Winter in Kliptown series, and other thematically related new pieces.

“My figurative subject matter and township scenes reflect the physical environment of township life which is often one of survival,” he adds. “In my children at play series, I show everyday scenes around me and through my portrait studies, I try to express people’s emotions whom I’ve met.”

Accompanied by a major catalogue, this project will cement Buthelezi’s position as one of the most unique artists on the South African art landscape. Buthelezi has developed an impressive CV, having gained acclaim for his work internationally. He has exhibited in venues such as the Museum of African Art in New York, the Goch Museum in Germany and the Prague Biennale, as well as attending many international residencies.

The tour travels to museums and galleries in Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Stellenbosch, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg during 2009 and 2010. The exhibition will be in Durban at the KZNSA Gallery from March 2 to 28, 2010.