Photo of Garth Erasmus

Garth Erasmus

b. 1956, Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Lives in Brackenfell, Cape Town.

Visual artist and musician best known for his innovative use of materials, Garth Erasmus has extensive experience as a facilitator and teacher. Erasmus unsettles the hegemonic, exclusionary constructions of African and coloured identity through introspective explorations of his decolonial identity, frequently presented on an intimate scale.

South African artists:What’s next? Episode 2: Garth Erasmus Pierre Tremblay 2011

“South African artists: What’s next ?” Episode 2: Garth Erasmus from Pierre Tremblay on Vimeo.

 

Art Education


1978-80: Diploma in Fine Art , Rhodes University.
1975-77: Art Teaching Diploma, Hewat College of Education.

Workshops & residencies

2020: GUS Gallery, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch.
2020: Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS), Stellenbosch.
2015: University of Delaware USA in collaboration with Nemours (Alfred DuPont Children`s Hospital), Delaware.
2013: Villa Waldberta, Munich, Germany. 
2004: BELLAGIO Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy.
2004: Thupelo Workshop, Cape Town.
2003: E-POS: Belgium-South Africa exchange project, Caversham Artists Press, KwaZulu-Natal.
2003: Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
2002-2003: Prohelvetia Cultural Exchange Programme, Solothurn, Switzerland.
1999: Cyfuniad International Artists Workshop, Plas Caerdeon, Wales.
1995: OMI International Artists Workshop, Hudson, New York.
1992-2000: Thupelo Workshop, Cape Town.
1985: Triangle International Artists Workshop, Pine Plains, New York.

Solo Exhibitions

2006: South African Paintings, The White Space Gallery, Axminster, UK.
2005: Evangelis/Soapbox (Performance), Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2001: Looking for Dia!kwain, Greatmore Street Studios, Woodstock, Cape Town.
1985: Map for Freedom Fighter, Harris Brown Gallery, Boston. USA

Group Exhibitions (local)


2020: Cafe Ganesh, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa.
2020: Something in Return, online exhibition.
2018: A Community of Families, Nelson Mandela University Gallery, Port Elizabeth.
2017: Beyond Binaries, KZNSA Gallery, Durban.
2016: Beyond Binaries, Essence Festival, Durban.
2015: Co-Existence, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town.
2011: AVA Retrospective exhibition: 1970 - 1990, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2010: As Is, Breytenbachsentrum, Wellington, South Africa.
2008: Manfred Zylla and Garth Erasmus, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town.
2007: ReCenter, Look Out Hill, Khayelitsha.
2007: Africa South, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2007: Riempie Vasmaak, Heidi Erdmann Gallery, Cape Town.
2006: Strange Attractors: Gary Frier and Garth Erasmus, Alliance Francais Du Cap Gallery, Cape Town.
2006: Movement, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
2006: Amajitas in Conversation, Association for the Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2005: Botaki Exhibition 3, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Pinelands, Cape Town.
2005: The Meermin Slave's Dream: Garth Erasmus and Malika Ndlovu, Slave Lodge Museum, Cape Town.
2005: The First Decade, Art b Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town.
2004: Botaki Exhibition 1, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Pinelands, Cape Town.
2002: The Mythic Image, Rust & Vrede Gallery, Durbanville, Cape Town.
2002: Sara Baartman Memorial Exhibition, Civic Centre, Cape Town.
2001: Cycle of Fives, Greatmore Studios, Woodstock, Cape Town.
2000: Opening Exhibition, Greatmore Studios, Woodstock, Cape Town.
1999: Parliament of World Religions, Civic Centre, Cape Town.
1999 Art Dialogue, The Castle, Cape Town.
1997: Die Ses, District Six Museum, Cape Town. 
1997: Trans Figurative, Association for the Visual Arts, Cape Town.
1996: David Koloane and Garth Erasmus, Artfirst Gallery, London.
1995: The Modernist Eye in Africa, Newtown Gallery, Johannesburg.
1991: Victor Petersen, Garth Erasmus, Linston Erasmus & Johann Davids, Centre for African Studies, UCT.
1982-1991: Vakalisa Arts Group, various township libraries and community centres, Western Cape.
1987: The Neglected Tradition, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg.
1978: Victor Petersen & Garth Erasmus, St George’s Gallery, Port Elizabeth.

Group exhibitions (international)

2016: Resoundings, Mechanical Hall, University of Delaware, Delaware.
2013: Manfred Zylla and Garth Erasmus, Lanzstrasse Gallery, Munich.
2013: African Cosmos: Stellar Arts, Smithsonian Museum of African Art, Washington DC.
2009: Ferne Werme, Kunstlerhaus Neue Ulm, Ulm, Germany.
2008: Body of Evidence, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.
2007: Inscribing Meaning: Writing + Graphic Systems in African Art, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.
2003: Healing the feeling and 30 Days: Garth Erasmus and Ben Arnold, Altes Spital, Solothurn, Switzerland.
2002: Confronting the Contemporary, Smithsonian Museum of African Art, Washington.
2000: Cross Currents: Contemporary Art Practice in South Africa, Atkinson Gallery, Somerset, UK.
1999: Art Dialogue: South Africa-Germany, B Block, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
1999:  Reclaiming Art/Reclaiming Space: Post Apartheid Art from South Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.
1997: South African Arborescence: End of the Century’s Artists, Nantes Festival of Art, France.
1996: David Koloane & Garth Erasmus, Artfirst Gallery, London. 
1996: Seven Artists from the New South Africa, Asaki Bomani Gallery, San Francisco.
1990: Freedom Now, Namibian Independence exhibition, Windhoek, Namibia.

Selected Performances

2018: Khoi'npsalms, Francois Blom, Garth Erasmus and Marietjie Pauw, Woordfees Festival, Stellenbosch.
2018: Ons is Almal Freaks Hier, theater piece dedicated to Sara Baartman, Stellenbosch University Museum.
2018: Dis Haus der Herabfallenden Knochen (The House of Falling Bones), Kante and Khoi Khonnexion musical theatre collaboration and performances, Hamburg Avante Garde Festival, Hamburg; KAMPNAGEL, Hamburg; Zurcher Theater Spektakel Feastival, Zurich.
2019: Dis Haus der Herabfallenden Knochen (The House of Falling Bones), Kante and Khoi Khonnexion musical theatre collaboration and performances, FFT-FFT Theater Dusseldorf; Munchner Kammerspiele Munich.
2015: Roesdorp, Marietjie Pauw and Garth Erasmus, Rupert Museum, Stellenbosch.
2012: Love Is… by Jacki Job, St. Philip’s Church, Cape Town.
2011: Two as One, Market Theatre, Johannesburg.
2011: Two as One, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town.
2009: CAPE 09 (Cape Town Biennale), A Walk Into the Night by Marlon Griffith, Company Gardens, Cape Town.
2008: Suidoosterfees, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town.
2005: EVANGELIS / SOAPBOX PERFORMANCE,  Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2005: ITOKO, Zonnebloem School, Cape Town.
2004: Sound construction for the Vuka Awards ceremony with performances by Malika Ndlovu and Tina Schauw, Johannesburg.
2004: The Kiss by Jacki Job, choreographed and performed by Jacki Job with music by Garth Erasmus, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town.
2003: Healing the Feeling, Altes Spiral, Solothurn, Switzerland.
2003: Seven Flowers, The Wharehouse Theatre, Cape Town.
2003: This Side Up by Jacki Job with Hurgen Cornelson, Arena Theatre, Artscape, Cape Town.
2003: Journey by Garth Erasmus & Thandile Mandela with Muse String Quartet, Cape Town International Convention Centre. 
2003: Crossing the Water Changing the Air by Ingrid Askew, Erin Hall, Cape Town.
2003: Viral Retro, Greatmore Street Studios, Cape Town.
2002: An Evening of Love and Erotica, All Nations Cafe, Cape Town.
2002: Wet Carpets, District Six Museum, Cape Town.
2002: Sara Baartman Memorial Concert, Civic Centre, Cape Town.
2002: Urban Voices 2002, Garth Erasmus and Malika Ndlovu, Baxter Theatre, Cape Town.
2002: Eagles Speak, Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2002: The Mythic Image, Rust & Vrede Gallery, Durbanville, Cape Town.
2002: Weave, The Whale Well, Cape Town Festival, South African Museum, Cape Town.
2001: Looking for Dia!Kwain, Greatmore Studios, Woodstock, Cape Town.
2001: Khoi Khonnexion, Viz-Ability Festival, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town.
2000: Khoi Khonnexion, Klein Karoo Kunsfees, Oudtshoorn.

Collections

National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, USA.
Mobil, RSA.
Numerous private collections.

Publications


2007: Anna Brzyski (ed.), Partisan Canons, Duke University Press, Durham and London.
2007: Stories op die wind, Volksverhale van die Noord-Kaap, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation [Illustrations and music].
2007: Anna Brzyski(ed), Partisan Canons, Duke University Press, North Carolina. 
2007: Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC. 
2006: Hein Willemse (ed), Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, issue 43, volume 1, University of Pretoria. [Cover design]
2004: Sophie Perryer (ed.), 10 Years 100 Artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa, Bell Roberts, Cape Town.
2002: Confronting the Contemporary, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
1989: Sue Williamson, Resistence Art in South Africa, Cosaw Press, Cape Town.
1989: Abduraghiem Johnstone (ed), Season of Bars, Cosaw Press, Cape Town [Contributor].

Catalogues

2015: 101 Day of Sodom, Heidi Erdmann Contemporary Gallery, Cape Town.
2013: AFRICAN COSMOS: Stellar Arts, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC.
2009: J McGee, Indigenous Relations, Journal of African art history and visual culture, No. 3, volume 4.
2007: Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC. 
2007: Stories Op die Wind: Volksverhale van die Noord-Kaap, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town.
2007: Anna Brzyski (ed), Partisan Canons, Duke University Press, Durnham, North Carolina. 
2005: Mario Pissarra, Botaki 3, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2004: Sophie Perryer (ed), 100 Years 100 Artists: Art in a democratic South Africa, Bell-Roberts Publishing, Cape Town. 
2004: Mario Pissarra, Botaki, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2000: J Picton & J Law (eds), Crosscurrents: Contemporary Art Practice in South Africa
1999: Art Dialogue, RSA.
1997: South African Arborescence: End of the Century’s Artists, Nantes Festival, France.
1988: S Sack, The Neglected Tradition: Towards a New History of South African Art 1930-1988. Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg.
1987: Mobil Court Art Collection.
1985: Triangle International Artists Workshop. 

Publications (reviews and features)


2009: Ogbechie, S. (ed.) Critical Interventions: Journal of African art history and visual culture. numbers 3, volume 4.
2006: Art South Africa, vol 4, issue 3.
2005: Art South Africa vol 4, issue 2.
2004: Julia Landau (ed), Journey to myself, writing from South African women in prison, Cover design by Garth Erasmus.
2003: ROOTZ Magazine. Interview and article. December issue.
2002: African Arts, UCLA, USA.
2000: Contemporary Visual Arts Issue 29, London.
1992: The Kalahari Review [cover & drawings], Kalahari Press, Washington DC, USA. 
1991: Bad Alchemy [music magazine], Germany (April).
1985-1992: Vakalisa Art Group [calendars].

Publications (CD's, cassettes and videos)


2010: Cape Town Soup, A film by Marieke Helmus, Femke Monteny & Yoka Van Zuijlen, Music by AS IS.
2010: A Country Imagined, Episode 2: Northern Cape, Documentary on SABC TV2 , Presented by Johnny Clegg. 
2009: Music for I Am Not Yet Dead, Documentary film on Manfred Zylla, Directed by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann.
2009: Kalahari Waits by Khoi Khonnexion and co-produced by Nate May and KHOI Khoi Khonnexion.
2008: Interview and music for Shosholoza Express, Documentary film directed by Beatrice Moeller (Germany)
2005: Butterflies are Beautiful, Documentary by Julia Landau
2004: Healing the feeling, wit th Werne Feller and Christian Guy Tschannen.
2004: Induction Trance: Khoisan Bow music compositions
2004: Freedom is a personal journey. A documentary film by Akiedah Mohamed.
2003: Journey. [CD]
2003: Garth Erasmus, Devon Schools Curriculum services, UK. [Video]
2003: Thandile Mandela with Muse String Quartet. [CD]
2003: Kuat Piano, self-published. [solo CD]
2003: The Luggage is Still Labelled. Documentary by Voyiya, V. & McGee, J.
2002: VIsivivane So’Lwazi, Robben Island Museum, Cape Town.
2001: Womb to World [CD poetry anthology by Malika Ndlovu, music by GE], Himoon publications, Cape Town .
2001: Urban Culture video. Contemporary urban culture of Cape Town, South Africa. Documentary by Canadian TV.
2000: Greatmore Chickenfish [CD with Manfred Zylla & Emile Maurice], self-published.
1999: Cyunfiad International Artists Workshop, Wales
1991: Bad Alchemy [cassette], Germany (April)

Awards/ Grants


1998: National Arts Council
1985: Travel & project grants from the United States – South Africa Leadership Exchange Program.

Positions held

2015-16: Artist coordinator, Palestine Museum, Cape Town
2009-11: Chairperson, Africa South Artists Initiative.            
2007: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR). Art Workshop coordinator / mentor Upington, Northern Cape.
2007: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR). Art Workshop coordinator / mentor Lwandle Museum, Somerset West. Cape Town.
2006: Guest Art teacher at 7 schools in Devonshire, UK.
2003: Guest Art Teacher, 10 schools, Devonshire, UK.
2002-3: Guest teacher, Spring School, Robben Island Museum, Cape Town.
2000: Assistant Curator, District Six Museum, Cape Town.
1999: Guest teacher, Calder Kids Adventure Playground (for disabled children), Liverpool, UK.
1982-97: Art teacher, Zonneblom Children’s Art Centre.
1982-92: Guest teacher at Community Arts Project.

Positions held (voluntary)

2012-2020:  Board Member, Greatmore Street Artists Studios, Cape Town.
1999-2001: Committee Member, Greatmore Street Artists Studios, Cape Town.
1985-2000: Executive Member, Thupelo artists Workshop, Johannesburg & Cape Town.
1991-92: Assistant Co-ordinator, Community Reflections, Cape Town.
1983-87: Assistant Co-ordinator, Vakalisa Artists Group, Cape Town.