A Labour of Love

Curators: Gabi Ngcobo & Dr. Yvette Mutumba
Dates: 14 Aug 2017 – 05 Nov 2017
Venue: Johannesburg Art Gallery

Curated by Gabi Ngcobo and Dr. Yvette Mutumba, A Labour of Love took place at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 2017. This show presented 150 of the original 600 works acquired from South Africa by Hans Blum on behalf of the Weltkulturen Museum in 1986. These pieces form a large part of the museum’s contemporary African art collection and were exhibited in South Africa for the first time with this show.

The artworks selected were all inspired by different readings of love and included works across mediums. Certain aspects of the show were in conversation with works in JAG’s own collection, some of which were created by artists whose work form part of the collection at the Weltkulturen Museum.

In addition to this, 10 new works were produced by Ngcobo and four South African former arts students – Michelle Monareng, Matshelane Xhakaza, Chad Cordeiro and Nathaniel Sheppard. These works were created in response to the collection, with Ngcobo, Monareng, Xhakaza, Cordeiro and Sheppard having explored the contents and history of the collection since 2014 at the Wits School of Arts. The exhibition was expanded further through the inclusion of works created in the Weltkulturen Labor by Sam Nhlengethwa, during a residency in July 2015.

A publication was shared alongside the show, with articles by the curators as well as Ciraj Rassool, Same Mdluli and Neo Muyanga. It also included interviews with David Koloane, Peter Clarke, Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa, Charles Nkosi, Lionel Davis and others in addition to images and archival material.

A Labour of Love 2017 exhibition poster