Impressions of Rorke’s Drift is curated by Thembinkosi Goniwe and draws works from the Jumuna Family collection, looking at the legacy of the Rorke’s Drift Arts and Craft Centre.
Situated on the battlefield of Rorke’s Drift (1879) a historical site of the Anglo Zulu War, the significance of The Rorke’s Drift Art and Craft Centre lies in its prints, which have made an enormous contribution to South African art. Many alumni of The Rorke’s Drift Art and Craft Centre went on to have significant careers, including artists such as Sam Nhlengethwa, Pat Mautloa, John Muafangejo, Kay Hassan, Dumisani Mabaso, Bongiwe Dhlomo, Azaria Mbatha, Paul Sibisi, Lionel Davis and Sandile Zulu.
The original ‘Evangelical Lutheran Church Art and Craft Centre’, which was established by Swedish missionaries Peder and Ulla Gowenius in 1962, gave a voice to many talented artists who would otherwise have been denied the opportunity to further their craft. The Swedish missionaries also enabled the work to be seen by an international audience at a time when South Africa’s art could not easily access a global stage.
The Centre concentrated initially on weaving and pottery, but these facilities developed into a printmaking studio which attracted artists from all over the country and beyond. The process of print-making enabled art to reach a wider audience – works could travel to multiple destinations and was affordable for the artists and the buyers.
The exhibition showcases over 100 pieces (mostly prints) from 17 artists, and an educational programmies the show, including input from experts within the print and art sectors.
Centre Rorke's Drift Website