In the early 1970s, a migrant laborer from the Msinga district in present-day KwaZulu-Natal created several highly idiosyncratic headrests using a variety of industrial off-cuts while working somewhere in the greater Johannesburg area. Taking them home as wedding gifts or selling them to other rural migrants from the same region, he probably lived in one of the single-men's hostels erected on the city's southern border, returning home every year for short breaks over the Easter weekend and at Christmas. At least six of these headrests have survived. One is in the collection of the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg (Fig. 1), four were found at a single homestead near the Dlenyane school on a gravel road between Pomery and Tugela Ferry in the 1990s (Figs. 2–4),...
I Could Be Happy with You, if You Could Be Happy with Me: The Playful Inventions of a Visionary Headrest Artist from the Msinga Region of Kwazulu-Natal
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Sandra Klopper; I Could Be Happy with You, if You Could Be Happy with Me: The Playful Inventions of a Visionary Headrest Artist from the Msinga Region of Kwazulu-Natal. African Arts 2019; 52 (4): 52–65. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/afar_a_00502
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