Blessing Ngobeni collaboration

September 30, 2021

We were privileged to participate in September’s Investec Cape Town Art Fair virtual event, in which we were invited to share a recent project on its Insights platform. When it came to choosing which of our students’ work to showcase in such an illustrious contemporary art setting, there was no question that it should be Lalela’s collaboration with the brilliant Blessing Ngobeni, winner of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2020.

Lalela has a tradition of collaborating with well-known South African artists on projects with our students, and even the lockdown in the latter part of 2020 couldn’t stop us from working with Blessing Ngobeni when the opportunity arose.

Blessing took time out to work with groups of Lalela high school learners in a series of interactive WhatsApp workshops, culminating in the creation of their own incredible artworks inspired by his distinctive style.

This project is based on the ‘Behind the Mask’ theme, and adapting Blessing’s work according to this theme. Lalela’s curriculum writing team took particular note of the truth-finding political criticism in his work, which seems to de-mask political intentions and greed. They also referred to the artist’s monochrome graphic collage works from 2018 onwards, where simplified and expressively distorted figures interact on the picture plane.

Following an introductory session with Blessing, Lalela students created their own collage works, using paper or card and images and text cut out of magazines and newspaper, pencils, paint, black pens, crayons and charcoal, where available.

 Comments Blessing, “Children are mostly victims of knowledge exploitation; they deserve an early opportunity to prepare (for) their future. Therefore working on this project with Lalela children gave me an opportunity to understand that I will never draw like a kid again. I miss this. Children are real and raw about who they are.”

Read more about Blessing Ngobeni and his work

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2021-11-17T17:25:42+02:00
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