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GERARD BHENGU ART GALLERY (article first published : 2004-04-6)

The Ingwe Municipality is to honour one of its most famous sons, the late acclaimed artist Gerard Bhengu, by establishing a gallery in his name at the old sewing workshop at Centocow Mission Station near Creighton

Where women once sewed, vibrant paintings by this KwaZulu-Natal artist will attract local visitors and international tourists to the Gerard Bhengu Art Gallery.

Gerard Bhengu, who grew up in the Creighton area, spent time as a patient in Centocow Hospital. While he was there, Dr Max Kohler handed him some crayons … and an artist was born. Bhengu’s work was used by Kohler to illustrate texts on medical matters and ethnology but he broadened his canvas to produce landscapes and vibrant scenes from African tribal life. Many of his portraits, showing in detail the dress and culture of African society were to become valuable Africana. While his work was always popular, it was only after his death in 1990 that his genius was realised.

The gallery venture is being supported by the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg, the Killie Campbell Museum in Durban and the Museum Services of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and Culture.




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