02 Oct 2017

October artwork of the month!

Artwork by John Ndevasia Muafangejo

Title: A Kuanjama Wedding

Medium: Linoleum Block Print on Paper

Date: 1971


John Ndevasia Muafangejo was born in Etunda Lo Nghadi, in southern Angola in 1943. Muafangejo’s family lived along the border between Namibia and Angola, and after the death of his father in 1955, the artist moved to live with his mother at the Anglican Mission Station at Odibo, Namibia. Muafangejo went on to study at the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) Art and Craft Centre at Rorke’s Drift in Natal, South Africa in 1967 with financial support from the Anglican Church in Namibia. After studying drawing, weaving, printmaking, sculpture and painting at Rorke’s Drift as well as under various mentors from different backgrounds, Muafangejo exhibited extensively locally and internationally. Muafangejo is known for his linoleum block prints incorporating visuals as well as text to depict a variety of content from scenes of battles during struggles against colonialism and Apartheid, to activities that constituted the daily lives of his peers. The artist is heralded for depicting scenes relating to culture and traditions of Namibian people, an example of which is this artwork describing a scene from a Kwanyama  wedding celebration. Muafangejo died in Windhoek 1987. The John Muafangejo Arts Centre (JMAC) was registered in Windhoek, Namibia in 1988 in honour of the artist. JMAC was originally registered under the auspices of the Namibian Arts Association, but today stands as an independent organisation. 

John Muafangejo Season is an initiative by JMAC to commemorate the artist during the week of his birth date of 5 October 1943. The National Art Gallery of Namibia joins JMAC in commemorating the birthday of John Ndevasia Muafangejo this year on Thursday 5 October 2017.

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