national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


(Pic: “Lonely homestead at KwaMasiwela, Maphumulo” - oil on canvas)

Solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings at African Art Centre.

The African Art Centre is to host a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most prolific artists, Mduduzi Xakaza.

Mduduzi was born at Maphumulo, KZN in 1965. After matriculating, he worked as a clerk in Ulundi before resigning to study for a BA (FA) and Higher Diploma in Education at the University of Fort Hare, majoring in History of Art, Painting and Graphic Art. He secured a position as Education Officer at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg in 1996 where he remained until 2006.

All this time, he continued working on his art, taking part in group and solo exhibitions. He completed his MA in Fine Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2002, followed by a post-graduate diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies in 2004. He is currently completing his PhD thesis titled Power Relations in Landscape Photographs by David Goldblatt and Santu Mofokeng through the University of the Western Cape.

He fell in love with the idea of depicting the landscape as a student in 1994 whilst studying the work of 19th Century German artist, Caspar David Friedrich. The magnificence of the landscape in these early paintings reminded him of his childhood years in Maphumulo and encouraged him to revisit some of these memories through the medium of painting

Of his recent new body of works, Mduduzi say, “I have stayed, studied and worked in different parts of South Africa. Born and bred in the friendly environment of Maphumulo, KZN, experiencing other parts of this country has helped me think more interestingly about what is called ‘sense of place’. This exhibition explores different spatial textures, climatic differences, and, lastly my response and interpretation to these places.

“Selected scenes of Maphumulo, Estcourt, Cape Flats and Vanderbijlpark (Gauteng) are my attempts to respond and interpret these places in terms of what they mean to me,” he continues. “I manipulate my media to express the harshness of parts of the Cape Flats and Vanderbijlpark which differ considerably from parts of my own province. Indirectly, this exhibition touches on a sense of nostalgia that one feels away from their places of birth”.

Although he no longer lives in the province, Mduduzi continues - through his paintings and drawing - to identify with the soil and soul of the land of KZN, his heritage. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in South Africa and abroad. His work is extensively represented in museums and in private collections. Besides being a practicing artist, he has contributed essays to a number of catalogues and has presented papers at numerous conferences, such as those of the SA Association of Art Historians and the SA Museums Association. He serves on a number of committees including the National Arts Council of South Africa and continues to make a profound contribution to the Arts in South Africa

The exhibition will be opened at the African Art Centre on September 29 at 17h30 by Jan Jordaan, Lecturer in Fine Art at the Durban University of Technology. It then runs until October 15. The African Art Centre is situated at 94 Florida Road, Morningside. More information from the Director, Sharon Crampton on 031 312 3805 or email or visit