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JAG reopens with a ‘fascinating’ exhibition Print E-mail
08 May 2017

The Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) reopened its doors on Sunday May 7 after it was closed for almost three months to allow for emergency repairs to be carried out.

The closure followed heavy rains that badly damaged its roof late in January. The gallery was reopened with an exhibition, South Facing, by Mozambican-born University of Cape Town graduate and artist Angela Ferreira.

The exhibition, which runs until July 30, intends to connect people and provide an opportunity for audiences to engage with the artist’s multidisciplinary research-based practice.

Ferreira said she hoped her exhibition would touch people in various ways. “I’m grateful to have my exhibition at this wonderful place that’s so rich with history and provides a platform for artists to tell their story and capture what’s essential,” said Ferreira.

Born in 1958 in Maputo, Mozambique, Ferreira grew up in South Africa and obtained her master’s in fine arts degree from the Michael’s School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town. She now lives in Lisbon, Portugal, and teaches fine art at Lisbon University.

Curator Amy Watson said she was delighted about the reopening of the gallery. She said its temporary closure had provided an opportunity for staff to re-examine the relationship between an institution once regarded as a symbol of elitism and its emerging multicultural post-apartheid urban context.

Watson said the gallery’s extension was intended to create a more accessible public threshold between the original neo-classical colonial-era building and the adjacent Joubert Park neighbourhood. She said she was excited to have Ferreira’s work exhibited at the gallery and was touched by the good turnout.

“Ferreira’s work draws on the visual history of the construction processes of the extension, particularly the contentious barrel-like copper-vaulted roofs, extending Ferreira’s ongoing investigations into colonial-era mining in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said Watson.

JAG’s registrar, Tara Weber, said she was grateful to everyone who made the exhibition a success. “The gallery was badly affected by rain and the staff worked hard to ensure the artwork was not ruined,” said Weber.

She said JAG had planned the South Facing exhibition with Ferreira two years ago. “We are pleased that we managed to have the exhibition on the same day that we set out to have it two years ago,” said Weber.

She said JAG’s reopening was “exciting news” for citizens. She encouraged young and old to visit JAG to see its amazing collections.

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