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MESSAGES AND MEANING (article first published : 2007-05-27)

With the touring exhibition Messages and Meaning, MTN¹s extensive art collection is being showcased for the first time since its inception. The exhibition comprises an exhibition of more than 100 works from South Africa and Africa, a book on the MTN Art Collection and an education campaign.

Messages and Meaning reveals both the MTN Foundation’s commitment to emerging artists and its aim to promote Africa as a leader in the global art field.

The exhibition includes contemporary artworks by Ghanaian Kwesi Owusu-Ankomah and Nigerian-born Yinke Shonibare, both artists with international reputations. Shonibare’s Diary of a Victorian Dandy: 14h00 Hours, a decided coup for a South African collection, is an major political set-piece that will fascinate visitors.

Messages and Meaning is a tribute to the creativity of the African continent,” says Philippa Hobbs, curator of the MTN Art Collection. Works from the collection by KZN artists include Jan Jordaan, Sthembiso Sibisi, Andries Botha, John Roome and Sfiso Ka Mkame among many others.

Many of MTN¹s works are discussed in the sumptuously-illustrated book, Messages and Meaning: the MTN Art Collection. This is an engrossing 308-pager edited by Philippa Hobbs, boasting 13 essays by leading writers. The books will be available for sale at the Durban Art Gallery, and proceeds will benefit the Museum’s library and education programme. The MTN Foundation intends to distribute presentation copies of Messages and Meaning to many further South African libraries and art organisations.

Visitors to the Messages and Meaning exhibition will receive a special issue of ArtTalk, which covers highlights of the exhibition, presenting the material in a form that art teachers can use. Walkabouts and an art education campaign are also planned.

Messages and Meaning runs at the Durban Art Gallery in the Durban City Hall from June 7 to July 29. Entrance is in Smith St. There are wheelchair facilities. Entry is free and all are welcome. More information on 031 311 2264.




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