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Footprints on Commissioner Street 1886/2016

Ayanda Mabulu and James Delaney

Opening: 11am - 6pm, Saturday 10 December

Exhibition continues until Sunday 29 January


HAZARD Gallery is proud to announce an exhibition of bold new work by artists James Delaney and Ayanda Mabulu.

The exhibition comprises new works by Mabulu and Delaney, two artists connected by their shared interest in the history of Johannesburg and the multiple human histories that intersect to contribute to the city’s make-up.

Coinciding with the 130th anniversary of Johannesburg’s existence, the show traces the history of the city and the footprints of the people from the first mining camps to present day. “Without the people’s footprint there would be no city and without the people the city is nothing,” says Mabulu.

Delaney and Mabulu also use The Cosmopolitan as a springboard to time travel and peel back the layers of history to explore the origins of Commissioner Street, Johannesburg’s first road, and the location of The Cosmopolitan and to examine The Cosmopolitan’s stature in the street at the time – it was built in Victorian era and its opulent appearance would have made it tower above other local businesses.

Contemporary painter and printmaker Delaney’s process to create this body of work comprises shooting photographs of the architecture, extensive time spent in the Johannesburg library mining through the archives three floors below ground and a month spent in studio at The Cosmopolitan.
Controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu has come under fire for exploring privilege and power in his paintings, from commenting on President Zuma’s perceived role in the Marikana shootings to, more recently, depicting the president in a compromising position with Atul Gupta. Here Mabulu turns his critical eye to examine Commissioner Street and the forgotten histories that have contributed to the city today.

Mabulu and Delaney will continue to use The Cosmopolitan as studio space during the course of the exhibition and as such the works on show will continue to evolve and grow as the artists engage with the building, the people and the area.
Enquiries |

Ayanda Mabulu | 2016

James Delaney | 2016

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