Ambassador Barbier opens the Exhibition “Spirit’s Response” by ABSA l’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award Winner Mongezi


On Saturday 17 September 2016, Ambassador of France to South Africa, Elisabeth Barbier, opened the exhibition ’Spirit’s Response’ by Mongezi Ncaphayi at the Alliance Française de Pretoria.

Ambassador Barbier : "By your friendly and spirited presence at this event, you are showing your commitment to painting, art, and more generally to that of culture in Pretoria."

Click here to read the Ambassador’s speech.

Mongezi Ncaphayi might be known as an award-winning contemporary fine artist – his latest win being the Gerard Sekoto Award in the 2013 Barclays L’Atelier art competition – but this self-taught saxophonist is equally passionate about music. It is the meeting of these two creative processes that comes to life in Ncaphayi’s uplifting solo exhibition, Spirit’s Response.

Mongezi says it mirrors the people and situations he has come across, while at the same time paying homage to his love for visual and musical art.


My work reflects my everyday life. It is a direct response to my life’s experiences ; a record of my thoughts, feelings and ideas about life’s situations, the people I meet and my environment.

My imagery feeds on musical influences, especially improvised music, and particularly that found in jazz. I also use my own musical improvisations to create visual compositions, making my artwork more personal. I explore the relationship between music and visual arts by listening to how music tells stories. I see my work as visual sounds and music,” Ncaphayi explains.

His interest in the technical and visual simplicity of the way his work deals with space is evident in his minimalist prints – 45 artworks of which are on display as part of Spirit’s Response.


Ncaphayi holds a National Diploma in Arts & Design (2005) from Ekurhuleni East College Arts School, a Professional Printmaking Certificate (2008) from Artist Proof Studio and a Certificate in Advanced Studies (2012) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA.

Aside from the Barclays L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, he has previously been awarded a scholarship from Linda Givon of the Goodman Gallery (2011) ; a fellowship to the Ampersand Foundation (2011) ; first prize in the Decision 2012 printmaking juried show at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (2012) and a grant from the Prince Claus Fund (2015).

The Gerard Sekoto Award is sponsored by Absa, the South African association for the Visual Arts, the French Embassy in South Africa, the French Institute in South Africa and the Alliances Françaises network in South Africa.

As part of his Barclays L’Atelier prize, Ncaphayi is given the opportunity to host a travelling exhibition through the Alliance Francaise network comprising the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA), Alliance Francaise and the French Institute in South Africa.


The exhibition runs at the Alliance Française de Pretoria (99 Rivier Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria) till the 6th of October 2016. A walkabout will be organised the 21st of September 2016.

To book, or for more info :
TEL : 012 343 6563
Facebook event page

publie le 19/09/2016

haut de la page