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FOTAG Focus Articles

For a number of years the Natal Witness ran articles by FOTAG members. These articles called the FOTAG Focus discussed artworks from the collection on display.

Home > Articles > Fotag Focus > Seth, Jackson Hlungwane



Jackson Hlungwane

by Sheila Davies

Seth, Jackson HlungwaneI had never taken much notice of him, but we were introduced by a student asking for help with a project. Jackson Hlungwane's carving 'Seth' was her choice.

Seth, the third son of Adam, "doth bestride the world like a colossus", stepping out with confidence from his corner on the first floor of the Tatham gallery. He is unashamedly still a tree-imithi - the source of medicine, warmth and shelter for the people of Africa. Two sturdy branches of the massive trunk form his powerful legs. The natural striations of the tree, already weathered with age when Seth was created, lead down to his solid feet which appear to be shod with sandals with tyre-like soles, a whimsical touch linking him to the present.

I love Seth's Africanness. He wears an isinene which skirts his muscular thighs and below his knees are his amashoba. The grain of the wood is less noticeable in the arms and torso, emphasising the smoothness of his strong back and pectoral muscles. On his shoulder he carries a burden but does not appear to be overcome by this. On the contrary, his determined head thrusts forward to match his stride, which is fearless and sure. A delicatley carved necklace and cross adorn his firm neck, showing the influence of Hlungwane's faith, for he established a Christian sect in Gazankulu where he lived.

I love this gentle giant, and he and I have become great friends. Seth would welcome a visit from you when you are next in the gallery.

More FOTAG Focus Articles


Johansson collectionThe Tatham Art Gallery holds an Art Collection that contains significant British and French artworks dating back to the 18th century. Its South-African art collection is focused on, but not exclusive to, the art of KwaZulu-Natal.


ImageThe Tatham Art Gallery hosts a range of Art Exhibitions. These include traveling and researched exhibitions as well as exhibitions initiated by the Gallery and compiled from the collection.


A selection of current and archival articles from the Tatham Art Gallery. These articles provide a historical and contemporary perspective on the Gallery and the visual arts in KwaZulu-Natal.

Art Gallery Shop

ImageThe Tatham Art Gallery shop stocks high quality works by local crafters. It is an ideal place to find unique presents and original collectables.