Mduduzi Xakaza

The African Art Centre is proud to be hosting a solo exhibition of new painting and drawings
by one of KwaZulu Natal’s most prolific artists, Mduduzi Xakaza.
Mduduzi was born at Maphumulo, KwaZulu-in 1965. After matriculating, he worked as a
clerk in Ulundi before resigning to study for a BA (FA) and Higher Diploma in Education at
the University Of Fort Hare, majoring in History of Art, Painting and Graphic Art. He secured
a position as Education Officer at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg in 1996 where
he remained until 2006. Throughout, he continued working on his art, taking part in group
and solo exhibitions. He completed his MA in Fine Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in
2002, followed by a post-graduate diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies in 2004. He is
currently completing his PhD thesis titled “Power Relations in Landscape Photographs by
David Goldblatt and Santu Mofokeng” through the University of the Western Cape.
Mduduzi fell in love with the idea of depicting the landscape as a student in 1994 whilst
studying the work of 19 th Century German artist, Caspar David Friedrich. The magnificence
of the landscape in these early paintings reminded him of his childhood years in Maphumulo
and encouraged him to revisit some of these memories through the medium of painting.
Of his recent new body of works, Mduduzi say, “I have stayed, studied and worked in
different parts of South Africa. Born and bred in the friendly environment of Maphumulo,
KwaZulu-Natal, experiencing other parts of this country has helped me think more
interestingly about what is called ‘sense of place’. This exhibition explores different spatial
textures, climatic differences, and, lastly my response and interpretation to these places.
Selected scenes of Maphumulo, Estcourt, Cape Flats and Vanderbijlpark (Gauteng) are my
attempts to respond and interpret these places in terms of what they mean to me. I
manipulate my media to express the harshness of parts of the Cape Flats and Vanderbijlpark
which differ considerably from parts of my own province. Indirectly, this exhibition touches
on a sense of nostalgia that one feels away from their places of birth”.
Although no longer living in KwaZulu Natal, Mduduzi through his paintings and drawing
continues to identify with the soil and soul of the land of KwaZulu Natal – his heritage.
Mduduzi has participated in numerous exhibitions in South Africa and abroad. His work is
extensively represented in Museums and in private collections. Besides being a practicing
artist, Mduduzi has contributed essays to a number of catalogues and has presented papers
at a number of conferences, such as that of the SA Association of Art Historians and the SA
Museums Association. He serves on numerous committees including the National Arts
Council of South Africa and continues to make a profound contribution to the Arts in South
Africa.
The exhibition will be opened by Jan Jordaan, Lecturer in Fine Art at the Durban University
of KwaZulu Natal on Wednesday, 29 September 2010. The exhibition closes on 16 October
2010.