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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


(“Feel the beauty of colours” by Isaac Sithole)

The African Art Centre invites the public to the opening of an exhibition which pays tribute to one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most prolific woodcarvers, Isaac Sithole. The much-loved artist passed away after a short illness on February 7. Hlengi Dube who has worked with Isaac for more than twenty years will pay tribute to Isaac’s life and the contribution he made to art in KZN at the opening on February 29.

Born and raised in Maputo, Mozambique, Isaac was introduced to the traditional technique of woodcarving by friends in his neighbourhood when he was 12 years old. In 1990, at the age of 16 Isaac moved to South Africa with a friend and immediately linked up with other young artists in the community. Shortly after moving to Durban, he joined the BAT Centre where he worked as a professional, fulltime woodcarver.

In 1992, Isaac was exposed to the technique of woodcut printing, a medium he continued to embrace. Isaac said it was his experience as a sculptor which advanced his affinity and love of working and experimenting with woodblock printing. In approximately 1998, Isaac started exploring the technique of colour reduction woodcut techniques, which entails cutting away at the woodblock each time a new colour is printed.

Isaac exhibited at a number of galleries in South Africa. In Durban, these included the Durban Art Gallery, the African Art Centre and the BAT Centre's Democratic Gallery. His work is represented in numerous private and corporate collections including the Tatham Art Gallery, the Durban Art Gallery, and the Killie Campbell Museum. He was also responsible for the artwork which adorns the central food court at the Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg. These murals are enlargements of his woodcut prints.

The African Art Centre has sold and promoted Isaac’s works since 1990. All proceeds from sales generated at the exhibition will go to his family to assist in covering the cost of the funeral and other expenses.

The Isaac Sithole Tribute Exhibition opens on February 29 at 17h00. For additional information call the Director of the African Art Centre on 031 312 3805 or the Development Officer on 031 303 4634.