Sounds of Hope, 2018


Unique Artwork

Acrylic

Acrylic and charcoal on canvas


CM H 189 W 299

IN H 74.41 W 117.72

Signed by artist



Sounds of Hope, 2018

This work was part of the second solo exhibition of Bambo Sibiya titled ‘Izikhali ze Mpilo’ at Jack Bell Gallery. The title translates roughly into ‘The Weapons of Life’.
Artist's statement : "This series focuses on early township life and each work looks into the subculture that started in the mining industry. I’m really fascinated about how the migrating community survive away from home. A lot of young men and women moved from rural areas to Johannesburg in the early days of South Africa searching for a better life. The mining industry was the main source of work and being the time of apartheid, it was not easy for a lot of black people to endure. Apart from facing the white power, they had to deal with their own social issues. But what captures my attention is how they fought back to their challenges and how they created this subculture to keep going.

Music, board games, fashion, sport and dance were important parts of daily life. We celebrate the Ladies Smith Black Mambazo today but this music was commonly known in the hostels where miners lived. They sang to free themselves from stress, from the action or pain that was inflicted on them during working hours. They would come together in the evening to sing and parody their bosses’ behaviour. The culture of Swenkas that has spread across the world started with the hostel dwellers, who used to dress up and parade in their spare time. The Swenkas are South African workers who have found a unique way to channel their self-respect, their creativity, and their hope in the future. They inhabited a worker's hell that Apartheid created and modern South African society can't seem to dismantle. Hard lives, miserable living conditions and long separations from families would beat down even the strongest men. (...)

A radio played a significant role in these communities as a source of communication, a time when cell phones were not around or rather too expensive to afford. They always tuned in and listened to a program called ‘ngikhonzele’, which means please send a ‘shout out’. It was here they would come to know about the lives of their loved ones left behind. The type-writer was a means to return the news back home. There is a term ‘Ubuntu Ngabantu’ that derives from Zulu philosophy and translates roughly into ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. Their lives were dominated by the spirit of Ubuntu."

Bambo Sibiya

Sibiya draws on traditional printmaking techniques and works with acrylic and charcoal on canvas. His work centres around the spirit of ‘Ubuntu Ngabantu’, a term deriving from Zulu philosophy and translating roughly into ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.

Bambo is a South African artist from Kwa Thema, Springs near Johannesburg. He studied art at the Benoni Technical college and afterwards studied the printing professional development programme at the Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg. In 2012 he won the Gerard Sekoto award and an artist residency at the Cité des Arts in Paris. It was during this residency that Atelier le Grand Village edited its first series of Bambo's lithographs on the theme of the Swenkas.

"My recent series focuses on early township life and each work looks into the subculture that started in the mining industry. I’m really fascinated about how the migrating community survive away from home. A lot of young men and women moved from rural areas to Johannesburg in the early days of South Africa searching for a better life. The mining industry was the main source of work and being the time of apartheid, it was not easy for a lot of black people to endure. Apart from facing the white power, they had to deal with their own social issues. But what captures my attention is how they fought back to their challenges and how they created this subculture to keep going. Music, board games, fashion, sport and dance were important parts of daily life. We celebrate the Ladies Smith Black Mambazo today but this music was commonly known in th...

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Jack Bell Gallery

Jack Bell Gallery opened in London in 2010. The focus of the gallery is to exhibit, represent and champion contemporary artists from around the world. The programme includes twelve exhibitions every year as well as art fairs in London and New York.

Gallery artists have been included in important exhibitions at the Venice Biennale, Brooklyn Museum, New York; Grand Palais, Paris; Guggenheim Bilbao; Camden Arts Centre, London; Salon 94, New York; Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Saatchi Gallery, London among others.

Acquisitions have been made by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery of Canada, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh and Manchester Art Gallery UK.


Jack Bell Gallery
13 Mason's Yard
St James's
London SW1Y 6BU
+44 207 930 8999


Gallery hours during exhibitions
Wednesday to Friday, 12 - 5pm & by appointment.
The office can be contacted Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm
by telephone and email.
Jack Bell Gallery is closed on public holidays.

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Curated by Jack Bell Gallery

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Summer Day

Summer Day, 2019

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Tribute

Tribute, 2019

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Custodians of the Swenka, 2018

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Afternoon Afterwork

Afternoon Afterwork, 2017

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The Bridge

The Bridge, 2019

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