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Living lines and impressions: A glimpse of Judith Mason's editions and drawings Article Image

Living lines and impressions: A glimpse of Judith Mason's editions and drawings

Posted on 12 June 2019

The White River Gallery will be hosting the first exhibition of Judith Mason's work since her death in 2016 opening on 26 June 2019. Curated by her eldest daughter, Tamar Mason, the exhibition will showcase Mason's drawings, editioned work, artists books and tapestries.

Mason spent part of her childhood in Bushbuckridge during the Second World War, where her father was a native commissioner. In 1960, she graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA Fine Arts. Working as an artist from the day she graduated, she taught in the Fine Arts Department at Wits for the first two decades of her career. Mason represented South Africa at the Venice Biennale in 1966. In 2008, the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg held a retrospective of her work to celebrate her seventieth birthday. She returned to the Lowveld for the last fourteen years of her life.

She was well known for her exceptionally fine line work and drawing skills that she used to capture her conceptual concerns. She was passionate about politics and human rights and used her extensive knowledge of philosophies and religions to inform the work that she did whilst also maintaining a keen sense of humour.

One of Mason's most well known works is The Man Who Sang and The Woman Who Kept Silent which is included in the Constitutional Court Art Collection. The work also known as The Blue Dress pays tribute to two liberation movement cadres who were killed by the security police. It references Harald Sefola who asked to sing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika before he was electrocuted in a field outside Witbank and Phila Ndwandwe who refused to speak or provide any information before she was shot.

The exhibition at The White River Gallery will feature work from a number of private and public collections, as well as photographs from her career and life in the Lowveld. The opening address will be given by her daughters, Tamar Mason (The Artists' Press) and Petra Mason (Cultural Historian and Head of Content and Exhibitor Relations for the FNB JoburgArtFair). The exhibition will on view from 26 June - 14 July 2019 in conjunction with the Innibos Arts Festival where Mason is the festival artist for 2019.

Visit The White River Gallery Facebook page for more information.

Images courtesy of The Artists' Press

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