NAGN raises funds for Figueira

30 April 2015

Just last year, renowned local photographer Tony Figueira and fellow photographer John Liebenberg exhibited a collection of photographs of days gone by that had those in attendance weeping.

The collection included the best work of the two photographers and mainly depicted the life and struggles of pre-Independence Namibia.

The exhibition consisted of 20 historical pictures from each photographer that they took during the Namibian colonial era. The images brought to life often forgotten memories and emotions about the liberation struggle.

However, this exhibition was not unique for Figueira, because his exhibitions often take on a life of their own and take his audiences on a magical journey into the world of the camera lens.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) has decided to host an exhibition to raise funds for the long-standing photographer who is reportedly critically ill.

The NAGN called on all photographers, both professional and amateur to donate a couple of works that the gallery could sell at the exhibition and then donate a portion to the photographer for his medical bills.

Responding to questions from the Windhoek Observer, NAGN Public Relations Officer Selma Kaulinge said by Tuesday they had received over 70 works by various photographers for the exhibition.

“Tony has contributed immensely to the photographic and art landscape of Namibia.

“Just through the positive response from the public and the number of people who have already contributed and those who will to contribute, one can tell that Tony has touched so many people’s lives, and this is our way of giving back to him,” Kaulinge said as she explained why the NAGN had decided to host the exhibition.

Kaulinge emphasised that because the exhibition was for a good cause, they would make sure to exhibit work from everyone who made a submission.

“The artists indicate what percentage they would like to go to towards donations to Tony if their work sells,” she noted.

The NAGN had also waived its usual 25 percent commission on works sold at its exhibitions.

However, she also pointed out that other forms of help for the family would be welcome.

“I am sure that Tony and his family are willing to accept whatever assistance they can get. That is why the NAGN came up with this initiative.

“If people want to do something other than take part or buy artwork from the exhibition, they will have to contact the family directly,” Kaulinge stated.

Similarly last year, artist came together to raise funds for sculptor and ceramist Diaz Machate who suffered a stroke.

The exhibition featured 50 artists, including the likes of Francois de Necker, Hercules Viljoen and Nicky Marais.

The benefit exhibition for Figueira will open on Thursday, 7 May at 18h30 in the Main Gallery.
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The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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