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Wednesday, December 3, 2014


(Wonder Mbambo - Ekwaluseni 2014)

The BAT Centre is currently hosting a group exhibition in the Menzi Mchunu Art Gallery titled My Reflections: Then and Now.

This exhibition comprises the work of Bat Centre resident artists Wonder Mbambo, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Mlamuli Mkhwanazi, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Xolile Mazibuko, Phumlani Nyawo, Sizwe Cele and Sbonelo Hlengwa and is aimed at giving these artists a platform to reflect on their journey as practising artists.

The exhibition is also a celebratory of their accomplishments, not overlooking the role the Bat Centre has played in their careers.

These artists are products of the Bat Centre’s AIR Programme (Artists-in-action Residency Programme). AIR is a year-long skills development programme which is aimed at identifying and developing the talent of young aspiring music and visual artists.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Zululand and the Durban University of Technology recognise the programme and enrol the programme graduates who normally would not meet the required entry requirements. On successful completion of the programme, the artists either enrol with tertiary institutions and / or become professional artists and entrepreneurs.

The BAT Centre has been offering this programme since 2002. Every year 50 young artists are enrolled (25 music and 25 visual arts). Up to the end of 2013, over 600 artists have participated in the programme and they include extremely successful artists whose contribution to arts and culture is immense.

This is apparent in most artists who are exhibiting. A particular example is Wonder Mbambo. Born in 1989, he is a Durban based visual artist from Kwa-Ngcolosi. Having started art as a hobby at the age of nine, he says that he was encouraged by his mother to further explore art as a career. After finishing High School, Mbambo received his first formal training through the BAT Centre Artists in Residency (AIR) Programme. This then saw him soar as an artist and he has participated in various art workshops and exhibited in galleries nationally as well as in Bremen in Germany in 2012.

He works with charcoal, soft pastel and acrylic paint on fabriano and canvas and his concept revolves around social realities, including issues around body politics and stereotypes associated with men.

My Reflections: Then and Now runs until December 12. The Bat Centre is situated at 45 Maritime Place in the Small Craft Harbour. For more information contact Curator, Fortune Bengu, on 031 332 0451, email: or visit