Limited editions by Zwelethu Mthethwa


When internationally acclaimed artist and photographer, Zwelethu Mthethwa visited the Mpumalanga province to collect images for a new series of work he met up with fellow artist Esther Mahlangu. Both artists exhibited together in the past in Japan and in Europe. Zwelethu learnt about Esther's first Solo Exhibition which was planned for 2003 and he decided to do an edition to commemorate Ndebele culture and this magnificent woman whom up till now, has never been acknowledged in her own country.

Looking at the two black and white images one is filled with a complex awareness of how strongly they contrast with the customary colourful wall paintings.

Ndebele Revisited I

A normal everyday bathroom scene seems mystified by the curtain through which some familiar images inside Esther's bathroom are barely visible. The curtain partially obscures the view and leaves the onlooker with more questions than answers. The bold colourful designs are obstructed and becomes silhouetted in the background. There is an urge to pass through towards the light to unveil this mystery.
Ndebele Revisited II

A late afternoon and a shadow is moving stealthily over Esther's richly decorated house, one of the last decorated ones left, the black and white image as if an omen of things to come, documents a frozen moment in a place and culture that might disappear forever

Gelatin Silver prints
40 x 50cm, 
Limited Edition of 25 and 1 A/P 
Titled, dated 2003, signed and numbered on the back

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