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Friday, June 18, 2021


A project of the BaMu Art Foundation

KZNSA Gallery is presenting RAW, a collection of work created by the students of the BaMu Art Foundation residency programme. Developed as the logical next step in an ongoing collaboration between Dr Bajabulile La Dhlamini Sidzumo and Professor Zanele Muholi, the foundation merges a passion for art and youth education, exemplified by RAW, the first exhibition of residency artworks.

Initiated as an artist residency, the programme provides resources and mentorship for youth from varying backgrounds in the Umbumbulu district near Durban. The foundation aims to foster a passion for art and incubate and support young talents. The residency programme also addresses the deficiencies experienced by art educators who may only have the capacity and resources to teach art theory. The foundation works with local schools to identify their needs for practical and critical thinking skills development in art education.

Prof Muholi visits local learners at schools weekly and fortnightly to provide mentorship in technique, texture, use of colour and line work amongst other art making practices. Students then also attend three workshops a week at the BaMu Art Foundation where there are further opportunities for mentorship, exploration of techniques and access to resources and materials. Prof Muholi and Dr La Dhlamini Sidzumo supplement practical skills mentorship with critical thinking and writing skills, essential to the development of creative concepts and the articulation of these in their practice.

RAW exhibits recent work of students in the residency programme. Opening on the anniversary of the Soweto student uprisings on June 16, 1976, the exhibition reflects the significance of the youths’ contribution to addressing social issues. Emotion, self-expression through portraiture, lived challenges and other social issues are explored through the painting and mixed media works on show.

Figurative in their rendering and literal in their concepts, the works make use of colour to emphasize meaning – warm, bright colours reflecting happiness and a perception of positive attributes and dull, dark colours the opposite. Unencumbered by institutional prescriptions, this emerging work offers refreshing insights into the minds of the artists of tomorrow.

More experienced students in the programme reference the flat bold backgrounds and economy of colour evident in the works of contemporary African artists.

RAW is an exciting first view of a new generation contributing to Durban’s long history of prolific creative talent.

RAW is open to the public until June 20, 2021, at the KZNSA Gallery.

Please note that KZNSA observes Level 1 protocols for Covid-19, including social distancing and screening. Please wear a face mask. No mask, no entry.

The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1705 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit