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Art Exhibitions

For Some the Pathway to Education Lies Between Thorns

25 November 2023

Participating: Peter E. Clarke

Springs Art Gallery in partnership with William Humphreys Art Gallery (WHAG) is proud to present a solo exhibition of the renowned South African artist, writer and poet Peter E. Clarke (1929-2014). The exhibition, titled For Some the Pathway to Education Lies Between Thorns, showcases Clarke’s linocut and woodcut prints, rarest paintings and watercolour drawings that explore the themes of education, space and social justice.
Clarke was born in Simon’s Town, a naval town near Cape Town, and grew up under the oppressive apartheid regime. He was forced to relocate to Ocean View, a designated area for coloured people, in 1972. Despite the hardships and discrimination, he faced, he pursued his artistic passion and became one of the most influential and celebrated artists in South Africa and abroad. In 2005 he was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) by President Thabo Mbeki for Excellence in the fields of arts and literature, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, among other recognitions.
Though the titled artwork for this exhibition was made in 2008, the inspiration came to him earlier in his career while visiting a rural village. Over a decade ago when his work was exhibited at Rivington Place in partnership with the Institute for International Visual Arts Clarke was quoted as saying: ‘I’ve been interested in space for a very long time, since early childhood in fact. Not only that kind of space, but also the spaces that separate people. The spaces that people have to traverse. In this particular work, what inspired this one was the fact that in South Africa, in the rural areas there’s a greatdeal of having to walk to school. Often children travel long distances every day. Going to school and traveling back afterwards. When I for instance spent a while in a village called Tesselaarsdal in the earlier part of my career there was one group of children who walked five miles to school in the morning and then walked the five miles back after school. So I was eeking out the difficulties involved in gaining an education. And so the title eventually came to me for this particular one, ‘For Some the Pathway to Education Lies Between Thorns’.”
This exhibition project, forms part of number of partnerships/ collaboration programmes implemented between the SRAC Department of the City of Ekurhuleni’s Visual Arts and Galleries Section, artists, art groups and institutions from the City of Ekurhuleni and beyond. The exhibition is curated by WHAG’s Chief Curator, Chepape Makgato and City of Ekurhuleni’s Visual Arts Curators, Thabo Sekoaila and Nomcebo Sithole.


Address: Library Building, Corner 5th Street and 6th Avenue, Springs, Gauteng
Tel: 011 360 2291 || Cell: 073 469 8817

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