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Indepth Arts News:

"Women: Bongi Bengu"
2004-02-18 until 2004-03-06
Bell-Roberts Art Gallery
Cape Town, , ZA South Africa

The Bell-Roberts Art Gallery presents Bongi Bengu's exhibtion of work entitles Women. "As a black visual artist, my experience is that woman is still not respected and valued in the same manner as man. In this series of collages and paintings I seek to celebrate female pioneers and heroine, locating them in their place in history and presenting them as the heroines that history books and the media have made invisible, " states Bengu.

This series of works attempts to portray an empowered state of black woman such as Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe and Esther Mahlangu for example, who are clearly located as equal participants and contributors in the progress of this young and emerging society, assured that "WATHIN ABAFAZI WATHINT NNBOKODO" a phrase in Zulu meaning "you strike a woman, you strike a rock"

By aligning myself with this line of thinking as my forebears, I am searching to define my own identity. I ask myself questions relating to womanís sense of power or powerlessness. The mural decorations can be viewed as openings or invitations to the ìinteriorsî of these women. They reflect a beauty or reality to everyone who approaches these dream houses because after all we are in perpetual search for something.

BONGI BENGU obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Cum, Laude. Major: Fine Art at Mount Vernon College, Washington DC, USA after graduating from University of Cape Town, South Africa with MFA. She has received many prestigious awards including the award to promising postgraduate women students in Michealis School of Fine Art in 1997.

Bengu has participated in many group exhibitions both locally and internationally the most recent being "Crossing-Knotting" in Berlin, Germany in July 2003. Her recent solo exhibitions at the Goodman gallery in Johannesburg and Dat Hoghehus in Germany during 2003 were extremely successful. Her work is included in the following collecitons: MTN, Johannesburg; De Beers, Johannesburg; Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg; Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, USA; Musee De la Civilisation, Quebec, Canada; Department of Arts & Culture, Pretoria; The Spier, Stellenbosch, SABC, Johannesburg; Rand Merchant Bank, Johannesburg; Billiton, Johannesburg; Canton of Solothurn Government Offices, Switzerland and Nandos Art Collention, London.

The Bell-Roberts Gallery is a Gallery Portfolio Member at absolutearts.com. Find out more about the gallery's artists at: http://galleries.absolutearts.com/bellrobertsartgallery/

Bongi Bengu
Marching to Freedom

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