Garth Walker has always been interested in developing and encouraging a language through design ‘rooted in the African experience’. Believing this to be Africa’s most powerful traditional weapon, he created i-jusi in 1995 – an experimental graphics magazine posing the question: ‘What makes me African?'
With i-jusi (meaning juice in Zulu) Walker has gone beyond the tired adage of Proudly South African and created something that doesn’t just claim to be South African, but that looks at a whole host of meanings behind what that might mean. Now, in partnership with Rooke Gallery, Walker has launched the first i-jusi Portfolio as a means to ensure the i-jusi magazine legacy.
“i-jusi is expensive to produce as it is privately published by my studio. The portfolio aims to raise funding to continue with the magazine, and to create opportunities for a wider audience to share in the ‘what makes me African’ concept than is possible with an occasional magazine primarily for graphic designers,” explains Walker. The i-jusi Portfolio features ten lithographs – 7 graphic and 3 photographic – each signed by the artist, in an edition of fifty.
The selected works are by South African artists who have featured in i-jusi and include David Goldblatt, Anton and Mark Kannemeyer, Brandt and Conrad Botes, Garth Walker, Pieter Hugo, Wilhelm Kruger, Brode Vosloo and Mikhael Subotzky. Buyers include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Minneapolis Art Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the library of the International Centre of Photography in New York. You too can own one, with pricing starting at R19 500, escalating over the course of the fifty editions. All lithographs in the portfolio are 325 x 500mm printed on 250gsm Rives BFK.
The printing process utilised is offset lithography with UV stable inks. The portfolio boxes are hand made and covered with Egyptian Linen book cloth. Preparation of the images for printing was overseen by Professor Stephen Innggs of the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.
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