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Engaging With The Masters of Art to Chronicle 20 Years of Democracy

The Beauty of the LineThe Bag Factory has been supporting local artists for more than 20 years, writes Gabrielle Ozynski in an article titled, “The Bag Factory: nurturing South African art since 1991″.

Ozynski explores the art and artists who inhibit these walls, “tucked away in Fordsburg near the Oriental Plaza, in the west of the Johannesburg inner city”.

It’s here that Ozynski finds Blessing Ngobeni, winner of the 2012 Reinhold Cassirer Award.

Ngobeni tells Ozynski about his work for the Dialogue with the Masters exhibition that was held from 22 to 24 August at the Sandton Convention Centre. The exhibition called for contemporary artists to engage with the works of South African masters to celebrate 20 years of democracy. Ngobeni engaged with the legendary artist Dumile Feni, who died while in exile in America in 1991:

“Dumile Feni was free as an artist even though he was oppressed. To engage visually with Feni, I looked at how he was neglected, how he was isolated and ended up a damaged person. He was in exile and then he died. But now he is alive again through this work.”

Find out more about Feni’s life and work in the book by Chabani Manganyi The Beauty of the Line: The Life and Times of Dumile Feni.

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