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Percy Konqobe: Sculptor and Sangoma

Will be on exhibition at Everard Read Gallery, CT from Mid September-Mid October 2010

Nomkhubulwane , 75 x 36 x 30 cm
Percy Konqobe: Sculptor and Sangoma
Will be on exhibition at Everard Read Gallery, CT from Mid September-Mid October
Percy Konqobe was born in Gauteng, 1939.

„Konqobe, who lives in Soweto and practises as a full-time sangoma, draws his
inspiration, unsurprisingly, from dreams, visions, and "outside forces". His bronze,
mostly figurative sculptures are not large, but convey a monumental force through
straining planar shoulders and bodies, and faces that gaze skywards, seeming to
yearn for epiphany. There is, in these works, a sense of longing for a South Africa in
which miracles and mysticism were undiminished.‟ By Brenda Atkinson
Intimate Love, 57 x 27 x 27 cm
This Image: Newspaper Boy, 36 x 15 x 25 cm
Seated Woman, 38 x 27 x 32 cm
Victory, 35 x 54 x 23 cm
Mother and Child Chameleon, 31 x 50 x 22 cm
Two Faces of man, 54 x 21 x 20 cm
Feeding Time, 30 x 22 x 24 cm
The Artist with his sculpture: Mother, The Pillar of Strength, 122 x 42 x 80 cm
The Future, 75 x 22 x 29 cm
Breastfeeding at the Park, 33 x 27 x 37 cm
Mourning Woman, 44 x 23 x 32 cm
Mother, The Pillar of Strength, 122 x 42 x 80 cm
Everard Read, Cape Town and Rose Korber Art

in association with the dreyer foundation,

present an exhibition of Percy Konqobe bronzes (created from 1980 –

Percy Ndithembile Konqobe was born in 1939 in Nigel, South Africa. He was initiated as a
sangoma in the mid 1960s and has since practised in Soweto as a healer. He began giving
form to his dreams and visions in clay in the late 1980s, thanks to the urging of the sculptor
Sydney Kumalo. He is today a recognised sculptor, whose works are attracting growing
interest internationally.

Konqobe is a man of dreams. There are dreams that come by day and those that plague his
nights, demanding to be vividly remembered. The recurrence of these dreams does not
make them easy to capture in solid works of art. On the contrary, they demand to be
captured with linear clarity and tactile accuracy and, to make it more demanding, they must
breathe the spirits of the ancestors that commissioned them.

Konqobe is also a man in love with form, and has a great ability to capture these forms. The
lines of his sculptures are lyrical and tactile. His choice of medium is deliberate: clay is soil
and soil is the abode of the ancestors. To touch and shape it becomes an act of
communication with ancestral forces that guard and guide his creativity and destiny.

What then happens when he casts his artworks? Does he imprison the spirits of his
ancestors? Konqobe answers: “The bronzes are evidence to the world of the visitations of
the ancestors… messengers that draw attention to my gods.”

His works are testaments to a force beyond him and beyond his time. It is clear that, in order
for those born outside Konqobe‟s worldview to experience his works more profoundly, they
must enter into a pact with their minds to suspend disbelief. Yet even if one rejects this
suspension of disbelief, Konqobe‟s works of art stand alone as masterpieces that speak an
eloquent language of sculpture.

- Professor Pitika P. Ntuli, with Jenny Gsell GmbH, Amy Klement & Caroline Gutberlet

This exhibition has been made possible by the Dreyer foundation‟s vision in initiating the
retrospective & casting the works. The foundation‟s aims are to promote international
awareness, tolerance in all areas of society and intercultural understanding, as well as
providing development aid. The foundation's goals are met by carrying out measures that
create the spiritual, mental, cultural and psychological basis for international understanding
and peace.