Who is Mark Wilby?


Mark Wilby, the creator of the memorial to Athol Fugard.
Mark Wilby, the creator of the memorial to Athol Fugard.
Picture courtesy of Lesley Perkes.

Mark Wilby is an artist of many trades. He has worked in film, production design, theatrical scenic services, exhibition display, commercial photography and, of course, visual art.

Wilby has worked on more than 40 film productions, including 1922 (1983), The Fourth Reich (1989), Taxi to Soweto (1991), The Line (1993), A Private Life (1988), Friends (1992), Kin (2001), Red Dust (2004) and Krakatoa (2005).

He moved from Johannesburg to the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda in 1994, and on to Grahamstown towards the end of 2006.

In Nieu Bethesda, Wilby established the Ibis Art Centre, which gained standing as an innovative venue for the promotion of contemporary art, and curated several contemporary art projects including the !Xoe site-specific events, which link contemporary art and the rural environment. He was involved with the formation of the Owl House Foundation, of which he was chairman for a number of years, and serves on the board of the Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre.

Wilby has exhibited in both group and solo shows around the country, including at the National Arts Festival and the Klein Karoo Kunstefees.

In 2000, Wilby completed a BA (Fine Art) degree through Unisa.

He has twice been the recipient of the M-Net/Vita Award for art direction: for A Private Life (1988) and Friends (1992). In 1999 and 2000 he was awarded the Judges Award at the Sasol New Signatures event.


back to the Athol Fugard memorial page

"The moral responsibility of the artist is to keep alive a total awareness of the realities of our time."
Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
© Sunday Times


Resistance through theatre - Reviews as sources

In this lesson plan, learners will be asked to think about how theatre can speak to people in powerful ways that are not always possible through other media. By reading reviews and assessments of Fugard's plays, learners will appreciate the kind of impact that they had on audiences living under apartheid.

Lesson plan
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Archive Photo Gallery
A selection of images from Athol Fugard’s life and plays.
Artwork Photo Gallery
Get a closer view of the memorial to Athol Fugard in Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Park
Athol Fugard and John Kani
Athol Fugard discusses his relationship with Sam Semela, the inspiration behind the protagonist of ’Master Harold’ … and the boys, with Dali Tambo