Indigenous aesthetics and narratives in African art

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As reflected in the works of select black South African artists

This Masters thesis (History of art, UKZN) is a compilation of reformulated exhibition catalogue essays on three South African black artists and considers how indigenous African and changing cultural world-view impacts the interpretation of visual artworks.

The artists are: The late Trevor Makhoba, who can be considered a master of the African oral genre in its visual form, one that goes back to the praise-poets of old.

Azaria Mbatha, who lives in voluntary exile in Sweden after being one of the first students at the Lutheran mission art-school of Rorke's Drift.

Mbatha is known for his sequential narrative scenes in highly contrasting linocut-prints reflecting his African indigenous idiom and story-telling roots.

Finally the late Cyprian Shilakoe, a Bakoni (north Sotho) who also studied at Rorke's Drift and is known for his deeply evocative and brooding aquatint-etchings reflective of his cultural beliefs, especially those on the realms between the worlds of the living and their ancestors.

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