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Sunday, December 9, 2018


The African Art Centre is currently hosting its last exhibition for 2018 and features a presentation of works by selected Durban University of Technology (DUT) students.

About two months ago, a DUT visual arts student, Rohini Amratlal, approached the African Art Centre’s director, Magdalene Reddy, requesting for space to exhibit. She had a group of 1st and 2nd years who wanted to exhibit their works. 

“I welcomed the idea because, as the African Art Centre, our main objective is to provide a space for both the developing and established to grow. I found working with the students very refreshing, they were efficient and met the deadlines,” says Reddy.

The exhibition is titled STRENGTH and showcases works by Zahraa, Rohini, Bandile, Mzwandile, Londeka, Vukani, Bhekinkosi, Siphesihle, Mhlengi, Kenneth and Mthokozisi.

“What I found very interesting about the interpretation of the theme by the artists was that most of the artists depicted images of a woman. “Women” is the personification of strength. This links perfectly with the 16 days of activism against Gender-based violence. So many women are abused, their faces, their smiles hide the pain they experience. But their smiles are true, their smiles rise above the pain.  Their looks are strong and powerful. This is what Mhlengi was trying to say through his three works – pride, beauty and strength become the order of their day,” said Reddy in her speech that launched the exhibition.

“Violence against women is not limited to physical, emotional and sexual abuse but it is coming through the media and movies. Women have to portray a certain image in order to be accepted, physical appearances are created by Hollywood and woman have to comply. Vukani’s unbound tells an interesting story about his sister accepting her own body. And then Zahraa’s work highlights the culture women are expected to fit into or live by. This culture in some societies are very oppressive and have trapped women for years but we find women today are finding the strength within themselves to rise about societies norms,” she added.

“But this journey is not complete, it is campaigns like violence against women and artists like these that concertize us, helps us dialogue the realities and more importantly pushes us to change.”
STRENGTH runs at the African Art Centre until to January 30, 2019. The African Art Centre is situated at 15A Station Drive off Umgeni Road in Durban. More information on 031 312 3804/5 or email or visit