Man, Myth and Meaning in the Sculpture of Sydney Kumalo

Man, Myth and Meaning in the Sculpture of Sydney Kumalo

Zoom Panel Discussion

17/09/2021     Live Auctions, Events

 

Join us for a Zoom talk to celebrate the life and work of one of South Africa's foremost modern sculptors, Sydney Kumalo.
 
Born in Sophiatown and raised in Soweto, Sydney Kumalo began his career as a student at Rorke's Drift. He had a deep love of Zulu culture andAfrican lore, and the convergence of traditional and modern African cultures helped shape the myths that inform the meaning and forms imbued in his art.  Join us as we discuss how his work is infused with all the drama and mystery of this culturally abundant nation.

 

Thursday, 23 September at 1pm

 

Join the Discussion



PANELLISTS:
Gavin Watkins
Isaac Shongwe
Moderated by Percy Mabandu (Senior Art Specialist)

 

 

Gavin Watkins

Driven by an interest in design, Gavin had a short stint studying Architecture before changing direction and studying Mathematics. His interest in South Africa’s early history, led to an interest in South Africa’s architectural past and from 1974 he started collecting the furniture that was made in South Africa in the eighteenth and nineteenth century out of indigenous timber such as yellowwood and stinkwood. This was followed by an increasing interest in South African art, and ceramics. From the mid-1980s Gavin started collecting South African paintings by underrated and under-appreciated artists such as Gladys Mgudlandlu, George Pemba, Ephraim Ngatane, Valerie Desmore and Fred Page. 

In the mid-1990s, a chance purchase of a sculpture on an auction in Johannesburg led to an interest in South African sculpture and in particular the work of two of South Africa’s top artists - Sydney Kumalo and Ezrom Legae. Encouraged by the well-known Johannesburg gallerist Egon Guenther, in 2000 Gavin started compiling a catalogue raisonne on the sculptures of these two world-class artists. This work has continued unabated for the last 21 years and is due to be published at the end of 2021.

In 2019, Gavin curated exhibitions in Johannesburg and Cape Town on the neglected sculptor Peter Haden – another South Africa sculptor mentored by Egon Guenther in the late 1960s.

Since his retirement in 2020, Gavin has continued to pursue his interest in art and design. He owns and runs an art gallery in Sydney - Redfern Art Gallery - which specialises in mid-century Australian art and ceramics  and 20th Century designer furniture. He still has family and many friends in South Africa, continues to collect South African art and sculpture and provides collectors and auction houses in South Africa and London with information on the sculptures of Sydney Kumalo and Ezrom Legae.

 



Isaac Shongwe

Isaac is a founder and Chairman of Letsema Holdings and is focused on building a values-based, long term, buy and hold investment company. He serves as Deputy Chair of the University of the Witwatersrand Council. He was, until the end of May 2014, an Executive Director of Barloworld Limited, a leading global industrial company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; he retired as a non-executive Director of Barloworld in February 2019.

He is the co-founder of the African Leadership Initiative, which is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, focusing on the development of effective, values-based leaders in Africa. In 2014, he founded the Young African Leadership Initiative concentrating on developing the younger generation of African leaders.

From 2000 to 2014 he served on the board of the Aspen Institute, where he is a Henry Crown Fellow. He also previously served as the Chairman of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation for South Africa.

Isaac was educated at Wesleyan University, a liberal arts college in Connecticut USA, and Oxford University in the UK where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar and obtained a M.Phil. in Management Studies from Christ Church.

Isaac is a founder and Chairman of Letsema Holdings and is focused on building a values-based, long term, buy and hold investment company. He serves as Deputy Chair of the University of the Witwatersrand Council. He was, until the end of May 2014, an Executive Director of Barloworld Limited, a leading global industrial company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; he retired as a non-executive Director of Barloworld in February 2019.

He is the co-founder of the African Leadership Initiative, which is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, focusing on the development of effective, values-based leaders in Africa. In 2014, he founded the Young African Leadership Initiative concentrating on developing the younger generation of African leaders.

From 2000 to 2014 he served on the board of the Aspen Institute, where he is a Henry Crown Fellow. He also previously served as the Chairman of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation for South Africa.

Isaac was educated at Wesleyan University, a liberal arts college in Connecticut USA, and Oxford University in the UK where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar and obtained a M.Phil. in Management Studies from Christ Church.

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