From 22 August to 29 September, the Origins Center at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, will exhibit the 48 recently donated paintings of South African-American artist Madeleine Georgette.
Drawing inspiration from the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid, Georgette created this provocative and moving series entitled “A Just Society”. Produced over a five-year period, this body of work can be divided into four smaller series: Apartheid; Impact on Women and Children; Institutional Arrangements; and Truth, Justice, Reconciliation.
Exhibition curator, Natalie Knight, stated in the press release: “The aim of the exhibition is to educate, to stimulate discussion and to provide an insight into a topic that by now should be seared into the conscience and consciousness of every thinking South African”.
Recognising the University of Witwatersrand’ s key role in the protest against apartheid, alumna Madeleine Georgette possesses a B.F.A. in Painting/Drawing, a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Political Economy.
Born in New York, Georgette immediately relocated with her family to South Africa where she spent the first 27 years of her life. Having lost most of her father’s family to the holocaust, the artist explained “I realised that human beings around the globe have not learned the lessons of war. Instead, one group succeeds another and former victims become the new perpetrators as savage cycles of endless violence are perpetrated in the name of revenge”.
Moved by South Africa’s peaceful transition from apartheid to majority rule under President Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, the artist proudly stated “South Africa consciously chose a different path, a unique courageous road to peace, to create light from their darkness”.