‘Sheer power and individuality’ of Khumalo’s work on display in Bay

SLICE OF LIFE: Vibrant works by Vusi Khumalo are on show at the GFI Gallery in Park Drive
SLICE OF LIFE: Vibrant works by Vusi Khumalo are on show at the GFI Gallery in Park Drive

Works by one of Africa’s most gifted contemporary artists are being shown at the GFI art gallery in Park Drive, Port Elizabeth.

The exhibition by Vusi Khumalo, who has strong links to the Eastern Cape, opened at the gallery on Wednesday and may be viewed until February 5.

Khumalo, who was born in Gauteng in 1951, is known for work that is “immediately arresting by the sheer power and individuality of the subject matter he portrays”, according to the artists’ directory Art and Artists of the Eastern Cape, published by the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) in 2011.

The Khumalo family, including Vusi, spent many years in exile, first at a camp in Zambia and then in Dakawa in Tanzania.

While in Tanzania, he was able to pursue his lifelong interest in painting and enrolled in a course with Hondon University. Through a scholarship, he attended the Koustfack Art School in Sweden, where he held his first solo exhibition.

While at Dakawa, Khumalo established and ran an art and craft community centre which he later re-established – also under the Dakawa name – in Grahamstown on his return to South Africa in 1992.

When funding for the centre dried up, he dedicated himself to the creation of his own art full-time, remaining in the Eastern Cape with his wife, Nokhuthula, and their three children for some years, before relocating to Joburg where he is now based.

Khumalo’s work has attracted a growing following around the globe. He uses found objects such as discarded tins, cans, stones, clothing and wood, and reassembles them to create vibrant and powerful images capturing the soul of township life in particular.

The GFI gallery is at 30 Park Drive and is open from Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 1pm. Contact the gallery on (041) 586-3973.

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