Art for Humanity recently launched the Art of Human Rights Collection at the DUT Art Gallery which was attended by human rights activists and art lovers.
Talking at the opening of the Art of Human Rights collection exhibition DUT’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Ahmed Bawa said the biggest challenge facing South Africans is getting our constitution to speak to us as South Africans.
“How do we get it to begin to reflect in many serious ways our own kind of evolution of our ideas around human rights and social justice,” he said.
The Art of Human Rights Collection is made up of the reflections of South African artists and poets on the SA Bill of Rights. The artwork, which was on view at the DUT Art Gallery, included contributions from well-known South African artists and poets such as Paula Louwe, Judith Mason, Nomusa Makhubu, Diane Victor, Berni Seale, Lebo Mashile, and Andries Botha.
The exhibition further included new works by five emerging artists from KwaZulu-Natal who produced sculptures reflecting on the South African Bill of Rights.
Two of the five emerging artists stood a chance to win a cash prize of R2 500 for first prize and a merit award of R500.
The first prize was won by Eugene Hlophe, a Fine Art Bachelor of Technology (BTech) student majoring in Sculpture, for his untitled artwork. Hlophe said his work was inspired by everyday life as a South African. His art piece, on display at the art gallery, speaks about being a refugee in another country.
“When I did my piece in the beginning of 2015, I did not know that later on it will speak in volumes with regards to what is happening in society. The timing was perfect with the recent xenophobic attacks. In my work, I try to reflect how when we engage in acts of violence amongst one another we actually trample each other’s rights. I also try to show society the implications of their wrong doing,” said Hlophe.
Merit Award winner, Mondli Mdanda, said his ascension piece – which is a sculpture of a telephone- is aimed at closing the gap between communities. “My work talks about ascending the level of communication between the masses and the elite. When I work, I focus on how South African communities can reconcile the gap amongst its people so the telephone acts as a bridge to communicate between the elite, masses and communities at large,” he said.
– Andile Dube