Superb collection of art on show at Kizo

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

The Kizo Gallery is honouring veteran visual artists who studied at Rorke's Drift in KwaZulu-Natal by staging an exhibition.

Dubbed In Honour of The Artists of Rorke's Drift 1960s to 1970s, the exhibition opened on Monday and will run until August 25 in Durban.

It features a private collection of 43 art works.

Nathi Gumede, curator of the gallery, says some of the works were recently discovered in KwaZulu-Natal.

The work of John Muafangejo, Sandile Zulu, Thabo Kenneth Loiuani, Vincent Baloyi and Jacob Matsose, among others, are on show.

Gumede says: "It is unfortunate that most of the works from this period have left KwaZulu-Natal to grace important local and international collections.

"A private collector has agreed to exhibit the superb collection of valuable works from this sought-after period.

"These works, which are of great historical and cultural importance, have until now remained hidden."

The works are not for sale.

Gumede says: "The collector desires to keep the pieces from joining the many others that have been bought by international collectors."

Swedish missionaries established Rorke's Drift for black South Africans in 1879.

Today the art school is used by the community to create all sorts of craft works.

The exhibition will add weight to the current debate about South Africa being at risk of losing many of its most valuable art works to international collectors.