Exhibition of photographs of the Ernest Mancoba Education Poster Project

  • Posted: Aug 23, 2012

At the Iziko South African National Gallery Annex
27 August until 30 September 2012

Ernest Mancoba, painter and sculptor, was born in South Africa in 1904 and died in Paris in 2002. He left for Paris in 1938 and returned for the first time 56 years later in 1994. Although he spent 64 years living outside of South Africa, he drew deeply on South African visual arts and heritage as references in his work.

Mancoba’s life, work and philosophy serve as an excellent example for young South African art students. It provides a platform to explore both figurative and abstract art.  His work is part of the schools Visual Arts curriculum but teachers lament the lack of resources to support the curriculum. 

The Art and Ubuntu Trust devised the Ernest Mancoba Education Poster Project (EMEPP)  as a response to this.

The EMEPP is the education outreach of the exhibition: In the name of all humanity, the African spiritual expression of Ernest Mancoba which ran at the Gold of Africa Museum 2006/07. The EMEPP took information about  Ernest Mancoba in the form of posters and films to an audience of teachers, artists and students in 17  peri-urban and rural workshops across the 9 provinces of South Africa during 2010 and 2011. Art making was also taught by a team of experienced black artists.

The collective, hard working and joyful spirit of the workshops was captured in a series of photographs by Somali film-maker and photographer Abdulkadir Ahmed Said. These photographs will be on exhibition from 27 August to 30 September 2012 at the Annexe Gallery IZIKO Museums along with some of the educational materials used.
The primary funder of the EMEPP is the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund along with the National Arts Council and the French Institute. The DAC were the main sponsor of the exhibition.

Selected quotes of participants

“I learned that colour can come out of your subconscious and it can be used to symbolize stuff.” student, Battswood Art School

“I am inspired by my experience during this time.” teacher participating in Drill Hall Concourt workshop

“I did like Babu Mancoba’s spirituality painting because I learn more about my culture.  student, Durban Art Gallery

“I would like to thank my school and the Art and Ubuntu Trust for awakening an unconscious eye part of my creativity.” student, Funda Art Centre

I love this project.” student, Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum

It has been inspirational to me to learn more about one of the greatest artist like Ernest Mancoba. student Mafikeng

“…everything that was taught was an eye opener, dyeing is something I’ve seen but never done so it was worth experiencing.” student Thabanchu
“This is what I needed, being a school teacher myself, I have benefitted immensely.  Presenters were superb and they gave it all although time was always too short for this work.” student, Limpopo
“I liked everything about the workshop, it was very fruitful.  Their presentation was superb, the guys
know their job very well.” teacher, Upington

“I would like more workshops like this because it helps us to know our tradition.” student,  Mpumalanga
“I like two different videos because they make me clear about background of the arts and they make me very clear about apartheid.” student, Willowvale Art Centre



Iziko Museums (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and 3 collection specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections which reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, as well as unlimited free access to individuals aged 18 and under (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).

COMMEMORATIVE DAYS – FREE ENTRANCE (excluding Iziko Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope)

  • Human Rights Day: 21 March
  • Freedom Day: 27 April
  • International Museum Day: 25 May
  • Africa Day: 25 May
  • Youth Day: 16 June
  • National Women’s Day: 9 August
  • Heritage Week: 24 September
  • National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
  • Emancipation Day: 1 December
  • Day of Reconciliation: 16 December

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