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Shepherd Kayalethu Xego was born 1954 in a small Eastern Cape town called in Alice. My father passed away in 1993 and left my mother and five children behind. I am the second born. I started using my fingers and hands in Primary School. The worst time in my youth was during the 1976 uprising. I went to Cape Town looking for a job, but only found an art center which was the Community Arts Project. In Cape Town a lady called Lynette Schlebush gave me a job. She noticed that I was an artist, and as most of her friends were artists she took me to a man called Mr. Edward Ladan, who gave me some clay. After that she introduced me to Mrs. Mary Hendriks who bought me paint and brushes. She sent me to C.A.P. in Woodstock where I spent almost three years studying part-time. It is there that I saw Graphic Design with another student called Xolile Mtakatya, who showed me Linocut art. The teacher was a good man called Lu Thando [0x1]Bra Shakes[0x1] Lupuwana, also from Cape Town. I loved this form of art as you can see today. After I moved back to my hometown, I lived in East London for six years where I sold my art in the streets until I met a lady at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery called Jen Rolan. She gave me a chance to exhibit my works. Another lady called Titz Alsop allowed me the opportunity to exhibit my wire works in the Museum in Oxford Street. I then moved to Port Elizabeth where I continued selling my works. I then met Paul Midema who is a tour operator at Calabash Tours. We made a contract with S.A.G.A. Tours from England who built a workshop that I am using in Ramaphosa Village, Struandale. For the past three years Paul has been bringing tourists to this workshop, and fortunately one of them was Mr. Penseel, a tourist from Holland. He bought some of my prints and showed them in Holland. Five of these were chosen for an exhibition of Linocuts at the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen, Holland. My work was exhibited alongside Picasso and Matisse which was a tremendous honour.
Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, HollandEPSAC Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, SA
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