'Untold Tales of Magic: Abelumbi' at Durban Art Gallery
Months in the preparation, 'Untold Tales of Magic: Abelumbi' is a fascinating survey of different cultural approaches to the idea of magic. The term "magic" is utilised here to embrace the unexplained, and so ranges across organised religion, local folktales, mythologies, alchemy, sorcery and enchantment. Concerned with both good and evil, the exhibition covers Western, Eastern and African subjects and features the work of 68 artists from KwaZulu-Natal.
Pieces to look out for are MV Naidoo's oil painting Kali and the Kutti-Shaitaan depicting the 1935 exorcism of an evil spirit that was eventually defeated by the combined forces of Zulu sangomas, Muslim priests and Hindu spiritualists; depictions by Zamokwake Gumede, Juluis Mfethe, George Msimang and Siphiwe Zulu of the Night Rider, the Zulu legend of a dark, undead entity who rides a baboon "familiar" facing backwards so as not to be recognised by his enemies; and Cross of Evil, a beaded sculpture by Thafa Dlamini and Ceaser Mkhize.
Curated by Jill Addelson of the Durban Art Gallery, the exhibition is seen as making a real contribution to indigenous knowledge systems. Michigan State University, in conjunction with Professor Seleti of the Campbell Collections, is funding ongoing research into the artists contributing to the show.
The exhibition will travel to main centres in KZN as well as to the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, the Pretoria Art Museum, the Oliewenhuis Art Gallery in Bloemfontein and the William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley,
Opening: April 16 at 6pm
Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm