About the artist
Makhanya b 1959 grew up in Lamont Township on the outskirts of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal. Educated at the Amanzimtoti College, the Ohlange High School and finally at the Dlangezwa High School from where he matriculated. He completed his Fine Art Degree from Fort Hare University in 1984 and in 1985. received his Honours and Higher Education Diploma. In 1986 he taught at the Ntuzuma College of Education until retiring in 1999 to pursue his own artistic career.
He established an artists group which he called “Third Eye Vision”. Traditional artistic traditions were rejected and they focussed on the importance of being African. The group began to explore and use African symbols and in 2001, held an exhibition entitled ‘Mask/ Unmasked”. With time, Makhanya’s own work became more abstract as he explored African symbolism.
Makhanya’s ‘sgraffito’ technique has been developed over years, using oil pastels to build up his richly layered colour surfaces. He etches into these colour planes providing colour variations and surface texture whilst seeking to record and tell tales of Zulu cosmology. His works give poetic form to ideas that relate to African culture, spirituality and aesthetics. African concepts of life, death, rituals, mystery and ancestry are explored, questioned and interpreted though his personal symbolic language.
His work is found in the Durban Art Gallery, the Pretoria Art Museum, the Department of Arts and Culture, the Greater Durban Authority and the Development Bank of Southern Africa as well as many private and corporate collections. Makhanya is listed in the celebratory compilation ‘10 years 100 artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa, published by Bell Roberts 2004, University of Michigan