â€˜In the garden of God, animals were there first â€“ the animals taught the people in our culture we donâ€™t say a thing straight out. If you are having a hard life you wonâ€™t call your life bad. We will go around and we will say, you are fighting with an animal and if you catch his tongue then you will come right.â€™
Helen Sebidiâ€™s (1943) drawings are mass portraits of the disrupted society created by exploitative legislation which treats Africans as labour units. Sebidiâ€™s work is quite confrontational. Every inch of the picturesâ€™ surfaces is covered with bodies. Crammed like the life in the townships, they push and shove in the struggle to survive. There is no room to breathe here. With an enormous variety of pastels, Sebidi portraits life in daily South Africa.