New Exhibitions at Norval Foundation

norval foundation
Athi-Patra Ruga’s iiNyanga Zonyaka — The Lunar Story Book

WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES courtesy of Norval Foundation


Norval Foundation, situated in Cape Town’s Steenberg area, has reopened its galleries with a series of four exciting new exhibitions.

Having temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the art centre has once again opened its doors to the public, with social distancing measures in place. “The health and comfort of our staff and visitors is our main concern – all health and safety measures have been implemented in line with government regulations to ensure a safe reopening,’ says Norval Foundation’s Chief Executive Elana Brundyn.

The exhibitions feature works by renowned South African artists Athi-Patra Ruga, Zanele Muholi and Jackson Hlungwani, as well as new acquisitions added to the Foundation’s Homestead Collection.

“The transformative and enriching power of art is even more significant in times like these,” says Elana. “While we have all adapted to our new virtual lifestyles, it is hard to replicate the feeling of seeing a great work of art with your own eyes.”

The Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani exhibition aims to pay tribute to the sculptor’s work and the way in which he integrated his heritage with global influences and thought systems from the Old and New Testaments.

Jackson Hlungwani – The Angel Gabriel (II) (1983)

In the Atrium, you’ll find Athi-Patra Ruga’s iiNyanga Zonyaka — The Lunar Story Book. The window vinyl, which is inspired by the stained glass seen in churches, is described by Norval as a translucent film depicting a visual narrative that “cross-pollinates through various time zones”.

In Gallery 1, visitors will find And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi. “The exhibition follows a path leading from intimate snapshots, betraying personal notions of identity, to visually refined portraits of a shapeshifting, mythologised subject located in the public imagination,” states the Foundation. “It is a journey from private domain into public sphere. Throughout the exhibition there is a consideration, not just of Muholi’s identity, but of our own identities and the ways in which we construct them and change them based on who is looking.”

Zanele Muholi – Qiniso, The Sails, Durban (2019)

Divided into four thematic groups, Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection showcases a new selection of pieces by artists from across the African continent, including Georgina Gratrix, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, Gerhard Marx, Pierre Fouché and Cinga Samson.

Visitors will need to purchase timed tickets, available online or upon arrival. For more information, visit norvalfoundation.org.