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Taking Khadi and Crafts to the World - the Gandhian Way

# Commemorative Volume

# A Letter to Gandhi Groups









satyagraha - a groupshow by South African and Indian Artists

Kizo Artists to Capture the Spirit of Ghandi’s Satyagraha Movement

Kizo Art Gallery, one of South Africa’s leading privately-owned contemporary art spaces, is extremely proud to be involved in the centenary celebration of Mahatma Ghandi’s Satyagraha movement, in association with Afrikhadi-India, the Travancore Gallery of New Delhi and International Bank Vaults.

One hundred years later, the relevance of Gandhi’s message of peaceful resistance continues to challenge and inspire individuals and society as a whole, as a positive and relevant action against encroachments into individual freedom and personal dignity. The same is certainly true of free and unhindered artistic expression in a democratic and modern society.

It is with this in mind, that the Kizo Art Gallery eagerly took up the opportunity to participate in the Indo-South African art exhibition as an artistic tribute to the philosophy and life teachings of this great leader.

The twenty South African artists who have been selected by Kizo to showcase their works as part of the Footprints section of the exhibition, come from vastly different backgrounds, each boasting an instilled pride in their own tradition and culture, of which Ghandi himself would have been proud.

Equally fitting is the fact that, eleven years after emancipation from apartheid, our own country now enjoys the social and political freedom which Ghandi and others like him fought so tirelessly to bring about in their struggle against colonialism and racism.  The entire Satyagraha movement

is incredibly close to the heart of South Africans and the launch of the exhibition in Kizo’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal has much significance, considering that the first stirrings of the movement took place right here one hundred years ago.

Kizo Art gallery is extremely privileged to have cultivated close partnerships with the South African art community since it was launched on 12th December 2005 with the vision of providing local talents with a superb platform from which to showcase their work.

The phenomenal gallery is the largest private investment into the arts in KwaZulu-Natal and, since its inception, has consistently captured the attention of the discerning art lover. Its owners Craig Mark of the Mark Galleries and Natalie Bradfield envision the gallery as playing an integral role in the development of arts and culture in the KZN province, and both demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the development of the South African art industry as a whole. Their intention is not only founded in developing the extremely valuable space in order to supply a base from which to market and promote some of the top artists in the country, but to identify new talent and support such talent through uncompromising promotion.

Craig and Natalie between them boast much experience in the art and interior decorating industries. Craig owns 4 galleries in KZN and has developed a strong reputation due to his aggressive promotion of South African artists both locally and abroad. Natalie has developed strong contacts and experience in the interior decorating industry through her development of various up-market properties in KZN.

Most notable, however, is their refreshingly relaxed attitude to their industry. They believe that it is vital that Kizo remains informal and practical. Their approach to business and promotion of the arts is that they want people to feel welcome in the awe-inspiring space that is Kizo. Customers are encouraged to pop into the gallery and browse without feeling intimidated.

Kizo is an expertly designed area which occupies over 700 metres squared of triple volume contemporary exhibition space at Durban’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping, including three separate exhibition areas. It has therefore undoubtedly lived up to its name, which when translated means abundance. The downstairs gallery has been designed to make visitors feel comfortable, encouraging them to enjoy a cup of coffee and to spend some time looking at the artwork, or reading an art or home décor book, while the upper level is used almost exclusively for the launches of exhibitions and special art related events.

In addition to hosting such events and housing a wealth of richly diverse original artwork, Kizo offers a complete art service to home owners, architects, interior designers and the general public, which includes providing art investment advice, commissioning, sourcing and even hanging top quality original artwork to suit different tastes and price brackets.

The gallery is also strongly focused on awareness and development in respect of the arts, and is currently embarking on a number of social responsibility projects, which aim to create awareness of art, promote South African arts and to draw attention to the value and importance of original artwork. These include the School Arts Awareness initiative, which invites school children into the gallery to view and acquaint themselves with top quality works from the country’s most revered artists.

Some of the work to be featured by Kizo Art Gallery during the Satyagraha Indo-South African art exhibition includes: the rough and raw textures of works by Anthony Wakaba Mutheki (hailed as ‘the Van Gogh of Africa); Indian-inspired pieces by Andrew Verster; the modern allure of pieces by Vanessa Berlein; serene representations of nature’s force as contributed by architect-turned artist Philip Briel and the well-known, thematically strong photo prints of Sam Nhlengethwa.

Through art that provokes thought, raises questions, challenges preconceptions and spurs the beholder into action, Kizo Art Gallery hopes to capture perfectly the essence and spirit of the Satyagraha movement made famous through the life of Mahatma Ghandi. In the words of a poem dear to the Mahatma, Satyagraha - like a beautifully created piece of art – is: “a movement from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to deathlessness”.

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