Embracing the Siyakhula (‘together we grow’) ethos embodied in the title of the upcoming Siyakhula Michaelis Auction in Cape Town, Marlene Dumas has donated 100 000 Euros (R1,8-m) towards the initiative to raise funds for promising artists from previously disadvantaged backgrounds who might otherwise not be able to attend University. The October 17th Siyakhula Michaelis Auction, which will feature works by some of Dumas’s contemporaries as well the work of other artists, is designed to raise funds to provide a number of comprehensive scholarships for students.
Marlene Dumas’s engagement with the way popular culture objectifies women via her distinctive painting style has earned her a place in the international art world. Having enjoyed a retrospective at the Tate Modern in 2015, her status as one of the South Africa’s leading figures in the visual arts is indisputable.
“This sizeable donation is a real boost for our fundraising event. It is so meaningful that this generous gesture is from one of the most distinguished alumni from the Michaelis Art School,” said Berni Searle, artist and head of the department at University of Cape Town, who is spear heading this initiative.
Having benefitted from the Jules Kramer Scholarship that funded her post-graduate studies in Holland, where she lives, Dumas knows only too well the value that this support can offer students. “Freedom of expression is not enough, if we do not have freedom of thought, therefore education is so important, especially in the arts,” observed Dumas.
Artists, art lovers and members of the public who would like to support this initiative, and in so doing support broader and diverse access to university education, may bid at the live auction on the 17th October to be held at Hiddingh Hall and conducted by Aspire Art Auction or the online auction, 10th -17th October on Aspire Art Auction’s website.