Live Virtual Auction, 22 September 2021
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About this Item
Renowned artist John Ndevasia Muafangejo was born in Ovamboland, Angola, in October 1943. After his mother, one of 8 wives, was widowed, the family moved south to Namibia to the mission station Epinga. In 1967, an American missionary, Father Mallory spotted Muafangejo’s talent and secured a place for the artist at the legendary Rorke’s Drift Art and Craft Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, established by the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church and run by art teachers Ulla and Peder Gowenius. Rorke’s Drift was a place of excellence, renowned for training artists in the disciplines of weaving, woodcraft, print-making, and pottery. Eighteen months after starting at the art school, Muafangejo was admitted to hospital and treated for a nervous breakdown, but he was able to go back to Rorke’s Drift in 1970 and complete his studies. He later returned to Namibia where he taught art for four years.
In 1974, Muafangejo was awarded an artist-in-residence position at Rorke’s Drift. Two years later, a collection of his prints was selected to be published by South African artist Walter Battiss, and in 1988 the artist received a Standard Bank National Arts Festival Guest Artist Award.
John Muafangejo died of a heart attack on 27 November 1987. His work is recognisable by his commanding portrayals of people and events combining text with images that reference his cultural heritage.
Donated by Omar Valley.