UJ Gallery presents exhibition CODEX MAGDALENE+

Bride Exile
Bride Exile

An extensive body of work by Majak Bredell entitled CODEX MAGDALENE + will be on exhibition at the UJ Art Gallery from 10 August to 7 September 2016.

Mary Magdalene attracted many and varied interpretations, ecclesiastic projections and pronouncements on women, the female body, sin, repentance and redemption. Bredell strips her figure of the layers of meaning that have been attached to her through the course of two millennia, while simultaneously replacing some layers or adding other meanings to create a quilt of many diverse and even contradictory patches.

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“I view Mary Magdalene as a hybrid figure who belongs to both Christianity and to the deeper layers of the pagan past. My interest in, and research into, the marginalised – represented by the goddess, the witch, and the female body – are all brought to bear on my exploration and re-interpretations of this enigmatic woman. As I separate out the many layers of thought that have shrouded Mary Magdalene, I find that she cannot be pinned down and that her figure remains ever-changing,” says the artist.

Christened Maria Magdalena, Bredell would only be reminded of her name when submitting a passport application or tax return, yet she always had a particular fascination and fondness for her namesake, “this much maligned character from religion, legend, and art,” as she calls her.


After reading Susan Haskin’s Mary Magdalene: Myth and metaphor in 1996, she began keeping notebooks on all things Magdalene. Included in this exhibition is the transcription of many of these notes and ideas, comprising over a hundred single folios, entitled CODEX MAGDALENE. A further section named MONUMENTS MAGDALENE comprises larger works, both older and new. Incorporated in these are several artist’s books, both symbolic and autobiographical.

Exhibition catalogues will be available and two walkabouts will be hosted by the artist, on Saturday 13 August 2016 at 10:30 and Wednesday 7 September 2016 at 13:00

The CODEX MAGDALENE + exhibition by Majak Bredell runs from 10 August to 7 September 2016 at UJ Art Gallery. There will be walkabouts on Saturday 13 August 2016 at 10:30
and Wednesday 7 September 2016 at 13:00, to book please email titusr@uj.ac.za

The UJ Gallery is open Mon to Fri: 09:00 to 16:00. Closed weekends and public holidays.
The UJ Gallery can be found at APK Campus, Cnr Kingsway/University Rd, Auckland Park

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