Group Exhibition: Interpret Durban 7 SHIFT

The African Art Centre is pleased to invite you to a group exhibition by Zainab Ismail, Iain Robinson and Levi Matthew Arrikum.  These local artists were the winners of the Fine Art category at the Interpret Durban 7 (ID7) competition held in September 2016. The awardees were additionally offered an opportunity to showcase their talents at the African Art Centre through an art exhibition, and we are excited to announce that that moment has now arrived.

Ismail, Robinson and Arrikum have produced works that range from painted canvases, ink on paper, to mixed media on cardboard.  In keeping with the Centre’s mission to provide an outlet of exposure, sale and dispatch of innovative work, this partnership with ID7 celebrates a well-rendered merging of digital design and fine art.

Interpret Durban is an annual art contest in which creatives present their thoughts of Durban within a given theme.  According to the ID7 team, The Shift speaks of change, a fresh perspective on our beloved city and how we perceive the change through art. This change shows us what the city could, might and is becoming.

Ismail, presently a third year Graphic Design student at Durban University of Technology and also the first placed winner of the ID7 competition, portrays a unique representation of the fauna and flora of South Africa through her artwork.  “The ideas behind my art pieces were simply expressing the beasts of South Africa that are endangered and forgotten. I want people to see that there is beauty behind these beasts. When creating my artworks, I did not only portray the ‘Big 5’ but also other animals that support our ecosystem and give more diversity to it. The animals are all unique in their own way, they have different design structures and anatomies which I used to my advantage.”

Iain Robinson, better known to Durbanites as Ewok, presents an interpretation of street art through a collection of works called Handstyles. “Hand-styling has become its own genre within the Graffiti Art scene. The art of ‘getting up’ is all about the repetition of that signature and its creative placement in the urban cityscape. Artists battle for fame and notoriety by getting the most tags up over the largest area, some even managing to go ‘all city’. Durban has an established handstyle scene that is completing its second decade in 2018.”

Third placed winner Arrikum is also a student at the Durban University of Technology.  His artworks talk about the social conditions of South Africa using Durban as his starting point. “My work is based on my walks through the city where I see an integration of the classes (lower, middle and upper) and the problems we have society as South Africans and Africans.”

This group exhibition, Interpret Durban 7 SHIFT will be opened on Wednesday 28 June 2017 at 17:30 for 18:00. The public can view and experience this exhibition for a four-week period thereafter.  

For more details contact the African Art Centre on 031 312 3804/5 or email


About the African Art Centre:

The African Art Centre is a fine art and crafts centre with a gallery and a retail outlet. Our core work focuses on artist development, showcase and growing the creative economy.

The African Art Centre was initiated in 1959 by the Natal Region of the South African Institute for Race Relations.

Role of the African Art Centre during the Apartheid Era:

  • Medium of communication in a divided society
  • Bringing together people with common interests
  • Public showcasing of African artists and crafters

In 1984, the African Art Centre was registered as a non-profit section 21 company.

AAC recognizes and addresses:

  • The socio-economic consequences of South Africa’s history
  • The challenges of unemployment
  • The need for all people to have the opportunity to work and earn a living
  • The intrinsic value of human dignity achieved through being able to work
  • The need to kindle and stimulate self-motivation through acquired skills
  • The need for development to be linked as directly possible to personal effort, self-sustainability and economic viability


Creating an enabling environment for the sustainable development, promotion and preservation of African arts and crafts with special focus on KwaZulu-Natal.


  • To provide a platform for training and development
  • To provide an outlet for promoting and selling works by KZN artists and crafters
  • To create jobs and a sustainable income for KZN artists and crafters
  • To provide a professional exhibition space for young and established artists and crafters
  • To discover, encourage and nurture works of creativity, originality and the highest quality
  • To communicate and document traditional and contemporary trends in local arts and crafts
  • To preserve our cultural heritage