Helen Sebidi

Helen Sebidi © Helen Sebidi Helen Sebidi‭ (‬born in‭ ‬1943‭ ‬in Marapyane,‭ ‬South Africa‭) ‬is a painter based in Johannesburg.‭ 

Helen Sebidi was raised by her grandmother,‭ ‬who had a great influence on her worldview and encouraged her to pursue creative activities.‭ ‬At that time,‭ ‬she already applied herself to pottery,‭ ‬weaving,‭ ‬drawing,‭ ‬painting and decorating calabashes.‭ ‬She turned painting into her profession after having worked for a couple of years as a domestic worker and after being wrongfully jailed.‭ ‬She was supported by her teacher and mentor John Koenakeefe Mohl,‭ ‬who motivated her to exchange with older generations of her community,‭ ‬thereby staying close to traditional African culture and preserve it in the spirit of her work.‭ ‬As an artist she finds inspiration in pre-colonial Africa whereas her works also mirror personal experiences.‭  ‬For Helen Sebidi,‭ ‬it is of particular concern to inspire and encourage younger generations,‭ ‬specially artists.‭  

Helen Sebidi was the first black artist in South Africa who was given the opportunity to exhibit her work in an exhibition in‭ ‬1986.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1988,‭ ‬she travelled to the US as part of a Fulbright Scolarship.‭ ‬Since the‭ ‬90s Helen Sebidi has undertaken various journeys and has exhibited her works internationally.‭ ‬In‭ ‬2004,‭ ‬she was awarded the‭ “‬Order of Ikhamanga‭” ‬by the then South African president.
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