The African Art Centre will be joining the rest of South Africa in celebrating and
commemorating the 2010 Soccer World Cup on South African soil by hosting a series of
exhibitions and development programs. To proficiently utilise this opportunity, young
artists and crafters will be offered a platform to expose and market their work to the rest of
the world.
On 17 of February 2010 the Centre will be hosting a group exhibition by two young versatile
artists; Lalelani Mbhele and Bhekinkosi Gumbi. Presented in the early part of 2010 it is
hoped that this exhibition will generate interest in the creative expression associated with
the upcoming soccer celebration and serve to unite both art lovers and soccer fans by filling
galleries and museum in support of our artists.
Bhekinkosi Gumbi, is a young sculptor who hails from the rural Nongoma area in Zululand.
This self taught artist carves sculptures of high profile figures and celebrities either in plain
or painted ‘Umganu’ indigenous wood. Although Gumbi still practises the traditional
method of woodcarving, his work is characterised by the use of subtle humour and whit.
Realistically rendered, his sculptures intimately communicate gestures and emotions
associated with the subject matter’s stature or occupation.
An exhibition of large canvas by Lalelani Mbhele, a young artist from Inanda Township in
Durban will complement the exhibition. Lalelani, who works from his studio at the BAT
Centre, has created a special series of paintings, which reflect on his own versions and
aspirations of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. His visual narrative undoubtedly draws the
viewer to intimately engage with each painting; the soccer players are accentuated in
colourful uniquely textured backgrounds. A captivating aspect of works are that the soccer
players are all women dressed in traditional ‘Izidwaba’ (skirts) and ‘Izicholo’(Zulu hat) eager
to showcase their soccer skills.
The titles of the paintings, for example ‘Angisiyona Inkomo’ (I am not a cow) emphasise the
complacent attitudes of his ubject matter. Beautifully dressed women in traditional Zulu
regalia are depicted eagerly engaged in soccer matches, enthusiastic to demonstrate their
expertise in the game. The visual quality of the work, demonstrates the artists creative,
innovative interpretation of the 2010 soccer event.
Both Bhekinkosi and Lalelani have utilised their creativity to celebrate art and unite the
interests of soccer fans and the imaginative minds of art lovers. Both have embarked on a
personal language and reinterpreted our expectations of the upcoming 2010 Soccer World
Eric Apelgren, Head of International and Governmental relations at eThekwini Municipality
will open this exhibition on 17 February 2010 at 17:30 at the African Art Centre.