On 26 September 2019, Laywers against Abuse (LvA) hosted its biennial Art Auction & Gala Dinner at the Killarney Country Club. Thanks to the generosity of the contributing artists and galleries, as well as the evenings’ guests and sponsors, the evening raised just under R1,200,000. These funds will be used to support LvA’s ongoing work in Diepsloot and to expand into additional communities.
Led by Russell Kaplan Auctioneers, the art auction featured 128 lots; all of which had been graciously donated by artists, galleries and collectors. The line-up featured extraordinary works from many of the continent’s most esteemed artists, including William Kentridge, Zanele Muholi, Conor Mccreedy, Kim Lieberman, Frances Goodman, Peter Clinton Gray and many emerging artists from the Artist Proof Studio. Opening remarks included a moving tribute to artist and activist, Benon Lutaaya, who recently lost his battle to brain cancer, and all other artists who use their artwork in pursuit of social justice. In the same way Benon Lutaaya used his work as a force for change, many of the artists involved use their work as a vehicle for social justice on the African continent.
Following the Art Auction, guests attending LvA’s Gala Dinner had an opportunity to learn more about the LvA’s important work from the evening’s Emcee, LvA’s founder, Bonita Meyersfeld. Guests also heard from LvA’s Executive Director, Lindsay Henson, and LvA staff who shared stories of two LvA clients in their own words. The evening continued with a candid discussion between Constitutional Court Justice, Edwin Cameron, and journalist and editor, Ferial Haffajee on the state of affairs in South Africa. Both interrogated the role of journalists and the judiciary in rooting out corruption and offered their opinions in response to the anxious sentiment currently pervasive amongst South Africans. Nevertheless, Cameron and Haffajee comments were imbued with a sense of hopefulness and recognition of the country’s resilience and courage in the face of these challenges. Lastly, guests also had an opportunity to bid on luxury prizes and get-aways throughout the evening and to purchase items from LvA’s ‘Tree of Hope’.