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ART AS A MEANS FOR SURVIVAL (article first published : 2003-03-9)

Art has always been associated with hard work, the battle for expression of thoughts and ideologies, and the patient wait for breakthroughs. For Lucky Shabalala, art is a means of survival in a community where job opportunities are rare. A self-taught artist who dreams of making an adequate income from his work, he was born into a family with no artistic leanings and has refused to allow negativity to dim his aspirations.

Lucky Shabalala's love of art as a medium of self-expression dates from his schooldays. Although no formal art tuition was offered, he constantly made drawings and paintings from a young age. He was introduced to woodcarving by artist Noel Goba, and developed his skills to the point where he was able to market his carvings door-to-door. His first subjects, realistic depictions of human heads, were followed by full figure sculptures. He also carves animals and makes bongo drums on commission.

While he has an established reputation as a sculptor, Lucky Shabalala has not let his painting skills languish and paints outdoors, depicting the bustle of life around him.

Art as a Means of Survival is his first solo exhibition. It will be opened in the Democratic Gallery at the BAT Centre on March 14 and runs until April 14. The exhibition consists of a series of Inanda township scenes.

More details from Njabulo Hlongwane on 031 332 0451 or 082 791 0773.




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