Nyakallo Maleke

b.1993 Johannesburg, South Africa; lives in Johannesburg.

Nyakallo Maleke is a Johannesburg-based interdisciplinary artist and writer. Currently, she works primarily with large scale, mixed-media drawing processes, often using pastel, sewn thread and charcoal in textured explorations of space, surface, and colour. 

Not Every Flower Blooms Under Harsh Light

2018. Performance in Italy.


you may need to fit into the team, the team may not fit into you – Lehae

2017. one part of two channel video, 15:00.

you may need to fit into the team, the team may not fit into you – Hae

2017. one part of two channel video, 15:07.


2023: ASAI Print Access Workshop, Wits School of Arts, Johannesburg.
2019: Master of Arts HES-SO/ MA (Art in Public Spheres), école de design et haute école d’art du Valais, Sierre, Switzerland.
2016: Asiko International Art School Alumni, Addis Ababa edition, Ethiopia.
2015: Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (Honours), The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Solo Exhibitions

2023: Making Sense of the Same Story, Bag Factory Artists' Studios, Johannesburg.
2016: Leaning Towards an Edge that Does Not Leak, John Muafangejo Art Centre Art Season, Namibia, (City Centre and Katutura) Windhoek.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2019: AfroLuso Residency Exhibition, Modzi Arts Gallery, Lusaka, Zambia.
2019: Masters Graduation Exhibition, USEGO, Sierre, Switzerland.
2018: Live Works Vol 6, Performance Act Award, Centrale Fies: Drodesera Festival, Dro, Italy.
2018: Group Exhibition, MAXX Space, Sierre, Switzerland.
2018: The Dog Done Gone Deaf: The Sonic Cosmologies of Halim El Dabh, 13th Dak’art Biennale, Musee IFAN, Dakar, Senegal.
2016: Here and Here, Asni Art Gallery, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2021: A Cloud, Studio Nxumalo/Gallery 2, Johannesburg.
2021: The Problem with Contemporary African Art is...? Studio Nxumalo/Meta Foundation Gallery, August House, Johannesburg
2021: The Cultural Life of Spaces, Association of Visual Artists Gallery, Cape Town.
2021: Territories Between Us, Iziko Museums, Cape Town.
2021: Handle With Care, Javett Art Centre, University of Pretoria, Pretoria.
2021: Emergence, Forms Gallery, Online.
2021: Monotypes...A Monotypebabe Experience, Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, Johannesburg.
2020: An Exhibition In Several Acts/ A Lexigram Of Ideas, August House Gallery, Johannesburg.
2019: FSTOP CLUB Zine and Self-Publishing: Edition Three, Market Photo Workshop. Johannesburg.
2017: Untitled, [Mural Project], Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg
2017: The New Parthenon, Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town
2016: Sorry, Please Try Again, Cape Town.
2016: HERE WE, by Dorothee Kreutzfeldt, ROOM Gallery & Projects NPC, Johannesburg.
2016: Nothing Gets Organised (NGO), Nothing Gets Organised, Johannesburg.
2015: RAMP, Stevenson Gallery, Woodstock Cape Town
2015: Even Younger Than, Assemblage, Johannesburg.
2015: Newwork15, Graduate Show, Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg.
2014: Thirteen Fourteen, Substation Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
2014: Ideally, Substation Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
2014: One thousand Nine Hundred and Thirty, Hotel Bannister Basement, Johannesburg.


2018: Not Every Flower Blooms Under harsh light, Drodesera Festival, Dro, Italy
2018: Performing Scores, 13th Dak’art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal.


2020: Foundation Opale Residency, Sydney, Australia.
2019: AfroLuso Modzi Residency, Lusaka, Zambia.
2018: Centrale Fies: Live Works Vol.6, Performance ACT Award Residency, Trento, Italy.
2016: Àsíko International Art Programme, CCA Lagos, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


2019: The Excellency Prize of HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland
2014: Recipient of the Martienssen Prize (currently known as The Wits Young Artist), Wits School of Arts, Johannesburg, South Africa


2020: When Drawing has to Move, [a drawing class], in_herit Festival, Iziko Museums, online. 

Reviews & Articles


Nyakallo Maleke's website.
Nyakallo Maleke's page on the FORMS Gallery website.

Rehema Chachage

b. 1987, Dar es Salaam, lives in Vienna.

Rehema Chachage is a visual artist whose practice can be viewed as a performative archive. Chachage collects histories tied to women in the Swahili region – stories, rituals, melodies, relics, and oral and written forms. Studying and intervening with these sources, the artist engages a playful research-based process of art and archival production.


Current: PhD in Practice, Academy of Fine Art Vienna, Vienna.
2018: Masters of Art (MA), Contemporary Art Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London, London.
2009: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Fine Art, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.

Solo Exhibitions (Tanzania and South Africa)

2013: Mshanga, Nafasi Art Space, Dar es Salaam.
2010: Chipuza ('Germinate’), Goethe Institute Tanzania, Dar es Salaam.
2009: Haba na Haba, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.

Solo Exhibitions (International)

2023: Nitakujengea kinyumba na vikuta vya kupitia [A Home for You I Will Create with Exit Pathways – A Gut Feeling], Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Wien, Austria
2017: Mlango wa Navushiku (Navushiku’s Lineage), Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi.
2012: Orupa Mchikirwa/Mshanga, (residency exhibition), Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Yamaguchi.

Group Exhibitions (Tanzania and South Africa)

2020: Tomorrow there will be more of us, The Inaugural Stellenbosch Triennale, Concepts of Freedom Pavillion, Stellenbosch.
2018: Converge, RAW Spot Gallery, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.
2016: East Africa Focus, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg.
2016: Consuming us, special projects, Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2019: Amani: In the footsteps of a colonial research station, MARKK Museum am Rothenbaum, Hamburg.
2019: LIVE WORKS, Performance Act Award 2019, Drodesera.
2018: Dak’Art, African Contemporary Art Biennale, Dakar.
2017: THAT, AROUND WHICH THE UNIVERSE REVOLVES: On Rhythmanalysis of Memory, Times, Bodies in Space, A Collaboration of SAVVY Contemporary with FFT Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf.
2016: In the blink of an eye, Arthub Asia, Shanghai.
2016: When things fall apart: Critical voices on the radars, Trapholt Museum, Kolding.
2016: Kabbo ka muwala/ The girl’s basket, (migrating exhibition), Harare; Kampala; Bremen.
2015: African Odysseys, BRASS Cultural Centre of the Forest, Brussels.
2014: Where we’re at! Other voices on gender, Bozar, Brussels.
2013: 18th International Contemporary Festival VIDEOBRASIL, Sao Paolo.
2013 - 2014: STILL FIGHTING IGNORANCE & INTELLECTUAL PERFIDY: Video Art from Africa, Malmo Konsthall, Malmo; 28th edition of VIDEOFORMES, Clermont-Ferrand; Motorenhalle, Dresden; Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo; Ben Uri Museum, London.
2012: Story on Story, Akiyoshidai International Art Village. Yamaguchi.


2023: H13 Lower Austria Prize for Performance.
2020: Shortlist, Henrike Grohs Art Award.
2016: Pro-Helvetia Ant Funding Grantee, for solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare.
2014: African Arts Trust Grantee, for incubation and running of Kuta-na Sanaa: A residency and mentorship programmed project at Nafasi Art Space, Dar es Salaam.
2014: apexart Franchise 2nd Winner, for Beauty Salons and the Beast.

Residencies and Fellowships

2019: Fellow, Art Writing Work: A collaborative project promoting art writing in East Africa, Nairobi; Kampala.
2017: Research Fellow, Arts of Africa and the Global South, Rhodes University, Fine Art Department, Grahamstown.
2016: Artist in Residence, ZK/U (Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik), Berlin.
2015: Artist in Residence (April - June), Thami Mnyele Foundation, Amsterdam.
2012: Artist in Residence (January - March), Akiyoshidai International Artist Village (AIAV), Yamaguchi.
2011: Artist in Residence (July - September), Nordic Artists' Centre Dalsåsen, Dale i Sunnfjord.

Workshops and Presentations

2019: Panelist, The Burden of Memory: Considering German colonial history in Africa, Goethe-Institut, Yaoundé.
2019: Artist Talk, in Vizazi: Contemporary visual culture of Tanzania, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.
2015: Performative Lecture, Today’s standard of African Beauty, during 'VENUS - The anti-hero hero', Framer Framed, Amsterdam.
2015: Presentation, Representation & Invisibility, (illuminating questions on power structures and relations within the art world, in terms of gender, status, western hegemony on taste, representation, etc), Supermarket Independent Art Fair, Stockholm.
2014: Panelist, How Contemporary is Tanzanian Art?, during exhibition 'Imaginings: The Worlds of George Lilanga', National Museum and House of Culture, Dar es Salaam.

Curatorial Projects

2016: Co-curator, About Time: The Exhibition, (an exhibition of lens-based media interventions), Stone Town, 09 - 17 July.
2015: Co-curator, Impose/Expose: Art Revealing Space, (an exhibition of nine artistic interventions in central Dar es Salaam), 26 September – 10 October.
2015: Co-curator, Beauty Salons and the Beast, (an apexart winning franchise with site specific interventions in Beauty Salons and Barbershops of Dar es Salaam), Dar es Salaam, 07 February - 07 March.


(featuring the artist's work)

2017: Ruth Simbao, Reaching Sideways, Writing Our Ways: The Orientation of the Arts of Africa Discourse, with William B. Miko, Eyitayo Tolulope Ijisakin, Romuald Tchibozo, Masimba Hwati, Kristin NG-Yang, Patrick Mudekereza, Aidah Nalubowa, Genevieve Hyacinthe, Lee-Roy Jason, Eman Abdou, Rehema Chachage, Amanda Tumusiime, Suzana Sousa and Fadzai Muchemwa, 'African Arts' vol 50(2): 10-29.
2017: Margareta Wallin Wictorin, An African woman coming to voice through a multi-modal work in 'Concurrent Imaginaries, Postcolonial Worlds: Toward Revised Histories', Brydon; Forsgren; Fur (eds), Leiden/Boston: Brill. 211-226.
2014: PRŌTOCOLLUM: An artists’ journal for contemporary non-Western art, vol 1: 66.
2014: AFRIKADAA: Afro Design and Contemporary Arts, in 'Image En Mouvement: Re-Inventing Narratives', vol 8: 112-113.
2014: Africa Masters: Rising Stars (Tanzania Edition), The African Channel, London.



Agness Ng’ambi Yombwe

b. 1966, Lusaka, Zambia; lives in Livingstone.

As founder and co-director of the WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery in Livingstone, since 2004, Yombwe has balanced a professional visual art career with ongoing involvement as an educator. Her work, amongst a wide array of topics, deals with social taboo, and challenges accepted norms around gender, sex and sexuality in contemporary Zambian life.

Education and Training

2018: Certificate, Corporate Governance, two-day training course, Fairview Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia.
2011: The Business Skills for Artists Training, Barn Motel, Lusaka.
2006: Certificate, Cutting and Design, Tabitha Training Centre, Botswana.
1992: Certificate, Paper-Based Technology (APT), Ministry of Community Development and Social Affairs, Mpapa Gallery, Lusaka.
1989: Art Teachers Diploma, Evelyn Hone College, Lusaka.

Solo Exhibitions (Zambia)

2019: Ni Mzilo – It is Taboo, Exhibition and book launch, National Art Gallery, Livingstone.
2015: Dialogue, 37d Gallery, Lusaka.
2012: Social Issues, Livingstone Museum, Livingstone.
1994: Wisdom in the Dance, Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre, Lusaka.

Solo Exhibitions (International)

2002: Exhibition, Deborah Hoover`s house, Boston, Massachusets.
1995: Agness Yombwe, Edvard Munch Studio, Ekely, Norway.

Group Exhibitions (Zambia)

2019: New perspectives, Lusaka organized by African Inspirations
2019: Turning in: other ways of seeing National Art Gallery, Livingstone.
2018: Exhuming Histories National Art Gallery, Livingstone.
2018: Yombwe Family Affair Art Exhibition, Lusaka.
2018: The Affordable Art Exhibition, Woodlands, Livingstone.
2018: The Journey Art Exhibition, National Art Gallery, Livingstone.
2017: Kuboneshango II, Lusaka National Museum, Lusaka.
2017: KonseKonse, Henry Tayali Gallery, Lusaka.
2016: The Affordable Art Fair, 37d Gallery, Lusaka.
2016: Patterns of Life, Red Dot Gallery, Lusaka.
2015: Exhibition, Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery, Livingstone.
2015: A Celebration of Today, Kalumbila Mine, North Western Province.
2014: National Art Exhibition, Livingstone Gallery, Livingstone.
2013: Women in Art – Art by Women, Choma Museum, Choma.
2012: Lechwe Trust Exhibition, Royal Livingstone Hotel, Livingstone.
2012: The 2012 X-Mass Exhibition of Arts and Crafts of the Southern Province of Zambia, The Choma Museum, Choma.
2012: Exploring the Patterns of Life, Red Dot Gallery, Lusaka
2010: Original Prints Group Exhibition, Alliance Franchise, Lusaka.
2008: Woman’s Art Exhibition, River Gallery at the Whistle Stop, Victoria Falls, Livingstone.
2008: Agness Buya Yombwe, Lawrence Yombwe, River Gallery, Livingstone.
2007: Artists in Southern Province, Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre, Lusaka.
2005: The Paired Visionaries, Twaya Art Gallery, Lusaka.
2005: Franco COMESA Club Art Exhibition, Lusaka.
1999: Artists across the Zambezi, 5 Zambian Artists Working in Botswana, Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre, Lusaka.
1996: Two-person show, Brooks Residence, European Union Delegation, Lusaka.
1989: Zambian Artists, Mpapa Gallery, Lusaka.
1989: Art Teacher's Exhibition, American Information Centre, Lusaka.
1989: National Art Exhibition, Evelyn Hone College, Lusaka.
1988: Zambian Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Department of Cultural Services, Pamodzi Hotel, Lusaka.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2020: FNB Art Joburg (with Modzi Gallery's 'Ba Zambia Ndi Bantu'), online.
2020: Will the sun rise and shine again post COVID-19, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, online.
2019: On Balance, The women, wine and words festival, Theatre in the Park, Harare.
2019: FNB Art Fair (with Modzi Gallery), Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
2018: Southern African Exhibition, Tobin Ohashi Gallery, Minato City, Tokyo.
2016: DIALOGUE, Kunstabanken Hedmark Kunstsenterin, Hamar, Norway.
2015: FETAFRIK, A Multi-Artistic Festival, Republic of Seychelles.
2008: Recycling, Kunstabanken Hedmark Kunstsenterin, Hamar.
2005: Threads, Botswana’s Foremost Female Artists, Frame Gallery, Gaborone.
2003: Artists in Botswana, Botswana National Museum, Gaborone.
2002: Artists at McColl, McColl Centre for Visual Artists, Charlotte, North Carolina.
1999: Zambian Female Artists Exhibition, Kunstabanken Hedmark Kunstsenter, Hamar.
1999: Artists in Botswana, Botswana National Museum, Gaborone
1997: Art for the Heart, a Celebration of Contemporary Zambian Art, Africa Centre Gallery, London.
1995: Contemporary Art of the Non-Aligned Countries, Art Gallery at Department of Education and Culture, Jakarta, Indonesia.
1994: Ethnic Art in a Multicultural World, Oslo.
1994: Zambian Cultural Festival, Bonn, Germany.


The National Art Collection, Lusaka National Museum, Lusaka.
Chaminuka Village Art Collection, Lusaka.
Thapong Collection, Thapong Visual Arts Centre, Gaborone.
Tulipamwe Collection, National Art Gallery, Windhoek.
McColl Center for the Arts, Charlotte.
Matero Boys Secondary School, Lusaka.
Barclays Bank.
Standard Chartered Bank, Lusaka.
Lechwe Trust Art Collection, Lusaka.

The artist's work is also held in numerous private collections in Norway, Germany, the United States of America, Australia, Japan and South Africa.

Awards and Achievements

2017: Certificate Finalist, CEO Global's Most Influential Women in Business and Government, Arts and Culture, Pretoria.
2005: First Prize (Prints), Franco COMESA Club Art Exhibition, Lusaka.
2004: Third Prize (Fabrics), Northern Art Teachers Association, National Museum, Gaborone.
2003: First Prize (Prints/Graphics), Artist in Botswana Art Exhibition, National Museum, Gaborone.
2000: The Julia Malunga Award (Best Female Artist), National Arts Council of Zambia Ngoma Awards, Lusaka.
1996: Best Female Artist Award, Zambia National Visual Arts Council, Lusaka.
1994: First Prize (Painting), Zambian-Italian Cultural Centre, Lusaka.
1992: Most Outstanding Artwork Prize (with Dickson Nyendwa), Sculpture workshop conducted by Vincent Woropay, sponsored by British Council and Mpapa Gallery, Lusaka.
1989: First Prize (Handicrafts), German Zambian Friendship Association, Evelyn Hone College, Lusaka.

Residencies and Workshops

2008: First African Regional Summit and Exhibition on Visual Arts, International Conference Centre, Abuja.
2002: International Residency, McColl Center for the Visual Art, Charlotte, North Carolina.
2001: Women’s Arts Painting Techniques Workshop, Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre, Lusaka.
2000: Tulipamwe International Art Workshop, Kansimba Guest Lodge, Namibia.
1999: Thapong International Artists’ Workshop, Kanamo Center, Mahalapye, Botswana.
1995: Artist in Residence, Edvard Munch Studio, Ekely, Norway.
1994: Mbile International Artists Workshop, Siavonga, Lusaka.
1993: Art and Design Cultural Visit Program, Wimbledon School of Art, London.

Arts Teaching, Workshops, and Seminars

2019 - 2020: Creative Directors (as Wayi Wayi), Livingstone Public Art Development, engaged by Private Enterprise Programme, Zambia.
2020: Staff Enterprise Preparedness in Empowered World View - Transforming Hearts, Minds & Pockets, Field trip at Wayi Wayi Art Studio, Livingstone. 
2019: Pottery/ Ceramic workshop (supported by Public Enterprise Programme), Zambia, with facilitators from Mzilikazi Arts Center in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. 
2018: Capacity Building Workshop for Creative Industries (supported by Zambian Breweries and Ministry of Tourism and Arts Livingstone), Zambia.
2017: Consultant and coordinator, National Women`s Workshop on Financial Inclusion (sponsored by Zambian Financial Sector Deepening limited - FSDZ), Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery, Livingstone.
2016: Instructor, Handicraft Design, Production, and Enhancement Workshop, Mongu, Zambia.
2014: Instructor, Handicraft Design, Production and Enhancement Workshop, Ndola/ Copper Belt, Chipata/ Eastern, Mpika/ Muchinga, Ikelenge/ Northwestern, and Choma/ Southern Provinces, Zambia.
2013: Coordinator, Girls’ Art Workshop and Livingstone Anglican Children’s Project, Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery, Livingstone.
2009: Coordinator, Children’s Expressive Art Exhibition, Livingstone Museum, Livingstone.
2008: Printmaking Workshop, sponsored by Lechwe Trust in partnership with Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery, Livingstone.
2004 - 2006: Art Teacher, Donga Junior Secondary School, Forms 1–3, Francistown, Botswana.
1997 – 2004: Art Teacher, Bonnington Junior Secondary School, Forms 1–3, Gaborone.
1996: Coordinator, Workshop for Women Artists, (organized by Zambia National Visual Arts Council), Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre, Lusaka.
1995 – 1996: National Treasurer, Zambia National Visual Arts Council, Lusaka.
1991 – 1996: Art Teacher, Matero Boys Secondary School, Lusaka (created a student art gallery during this time).
1993: Coordinator, Workshop for Women Artists, Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre, Lusaka.
1992 – 1993: Committee Member, Zambia Visual Arts Council, Lusaka.
1990: Art Teacher, Libala Secondary School, Junior and Senior Grades 8-12, Lusaka.

Arts Leadership

2016 – ongoing: Trustee, Museum of Women’s History, Lusaka.
2017 – 2019: Board Member, National Arts Council of Zambia, Lusaka.
2016: Concept and Site Coordinator, Zambian National Women’s Workshop on Financial Inclusion, sponsored by Financial Sector Deepening Zambia - FSDZ.
2012: Facilitator, Art and Crafts Workshop/ Product Improvement and Development, (organized by National Arts Council), Choma.
2012 – 2013: Liaison, Global Sojourns Giving Circle, (Monitored project in Livingstone at Tusa Munyandi Pre-school, and arranged guests’ visits), Livingstone. 
2002: Treasurer, Botswana National Art Fair.
2002: Chairperson, South Central Art Teachers Art Association (SCATA).
2002: Art Coordinator and Proposal Writer, Micro-project funding, Bonnington Art Club, Gaborone.
2000: Facilitator, Women’s Art Workshop, John Muafangejo Art Centre, Windhoek.
1989: First Secretary, Zambia National Visual Arts Council, (while a student at Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce), Lusaka.


1995: The Role of Tradition in my Art, Art Academy, Oslo, Norway.
1991: The Role of Women Artists in Zambia, South African Development Cooperation Conference, Arusha, Tanzania.


author of:

2019: Agness Buya Yombwe, Ni Mzilo (It is Taboo), Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery: Livingstone.
2015: Agness Buya Yombwe, Kudumbisiana (Dialogue): She is Not an Artist, (catalogue), Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery: Livingstone.

featured in:

2014: Zambia: Implosion for Explosion, Contemporary Artists from Zambia, Imago Mundi, Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy.
2009: The Art Collection Catalogue, Lechwe Trust, Lusaka.

Press Coverage

2020: Andrew Mulenga, 'Elephant in the room', The Mast, Wednesday February 5 2020.
2019: Elliot Ngosa, 'The expanding vision of Wayi Wayi Studio and Art gallery', The Mast, Saturday May 11 2019.
2019: Austin Kaluba, 'Meet the artistic Yombwe family', Times of Zambia, Friday May 10 2019.
2019: Andrew Mulenga, 'Ni Mzilo – It is taboo', The Mast, Tuesday May 14 2019. 
2019: Elliot Ngosa, 'The expanding vision of Wayi Wayi Studio and Art Gallery', The Lusaka Sun, Saturday March 2 2019.
2019: Ndangwa Mwittah and Lucy Lumbe, 'I found my wife at Evelyn Hone College', SUNDAY MAIL, 17 February 2019.
2018: Andrea Capranico, 'Art is Family Family is Art', December 2018. 
2018: 'Yombwe Family Affairs', Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
2017: Profile: Agness Buya Yombwe, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
2016: Andrew Mulenga, 'Kudumbisiana (Dialogue): ‘She is not an Artist’', The Post, 2 February 2016.
2013: ZNBC Television appearance featuring Yombwe and youth from Wayi Wayi Art Studio
2012: 'Agness, Lawrence exploring patterns of Life', Zambia National Daily Mail, 24 August 2012.
2012: 'Meet the Yombwes. Is this the most creative family in Zambia?', Bulletin & Record, July 2012.
2011: MUVI Television showcasing Agness and Lawrence Yombwe's exhibition at Red Dot Gallery, Lusaka.
2005: Andrew Mulenga, 'The Yombwes are in town', Weekend Post, 2 September 2005. 
2000: Zoe Titus, 'A woman in Art', The Namibian Weekender, 8 September 2000. 
2000: Khadija Woods, 'Exploring Root/ Routes', Botswana Gazette, 24 May 2000. 
2000: Deborah A. Hoover, 'Revealing the Mbusa as Art: Women Artists in Zambia', African Arts (UCLA): Autumn 2000, Vol. XXXIII.
1996: David Simpson, 'Agnes Buya Ng'ambi Yombwe', Profit Magazine
1996: Mujuda Samson, 'Yombwe scoops Aquila Simpasa Award for '96', The Post, 20 December 1996.
1995: Tembo Maurice, 'Mbusa Art Makes an Impact in Norway', Zambia Daily Mail, 17 November 1995.
1995: Tembo Maurice, 'Tradition and Gender Equality', Zambia Daily Mail, 23 June 1995.
1994: Tembo Maurice, 'Meet Yombwe the Talented Female Artist of Zambia', Zambia Daily Mail, 24 September 1994.
1993: Billy Nkunika, 'Agness Ng'ambi Yombwe: Woman Artist of Zambia', Southern African Art, Vol.2(3).
1993: Anthony Kunda, 'Agnes Yombwe: Artist with an African Touch', The Weekly Post, 22-28 January 1993.


Cheryl Traub-Adler

Cheryl Traub-Adler

b. Cape Town, South Africa, 1959.

Cheryl Traub-Adler is an interdisciplinary artist. Her public art intersects between performance, embodied practice and localized site-specific disruption. In studio Cheryl Traub-Adler focuses on the creative process in printmaking, collage, poetry and painting.


1981: Diploma in Fine Art, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
1995: Waldorf Teacher Training, Centre for Creative Education, Cape Town. 
2003: Bridging Polarities through Art, Online Course. 
Online Studies.
2011-19: Online courses, Medicine and the Arts: Humanizing Healthcare, The University of Cape Town; What is a Mind?, The University of Cape Town; Identity, Conflict and Public Space, Queen’s University; Politics, Art and Resistance, The University of Kent; Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum, University of Leicester; Why We Post, University College London; Arts and Technology Teach-Out, University of Michigan.

Solo Exhibitions

2021: *elementals & incidentals, Nel Gallery, Cape Town. 
2017: Analogue V, Alliance Française, Cape Town.
2012: The Figure Imagined, Art In The Forest, Cape Town.
2012: Ancestral Robe Washing, FirstSite Specific, Plettenberg Bay. 
2014: The Minds Eye, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, Oudshoorn.

Group Exhibitions

2024: Peace Matters, Collaborative Installation with 12 Artists, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town.
2021: Autumn Show, Daor Contemporary, Cape Town. 
2020: Summer Show, African Super Studios, Cape Town.
2020: Fly To Me, The Project Space, Johannesburg.
2019: Fundamental Rationalism, Eclectica Print Art Gallery, Cape Town.
2018: Politics of Water (Performance Photographs Curated by Mirjam Asmal), Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2018: Privacy is not a Right, Slave Church Museum, Cape Town.
2018: Politics, Art and Resistance, TATE Modern/TATE exchange FutureLearn, London.
2017: New Guard, ArtB Gallery, Cape Town.
2015: Persistence of Memory, Centre for Curating the Archive, Untitled Studios,  Cape Town. 
2015: Oppressive Space, Wolf Architects Pumflet ‘Rondehuis, Cape Town.


2020: Garden of a Future Nostalgia (with Luan Nel), Nel Art Gallery, Cape Town.
2019: Daor Contemporary Opening: Installation - Mixed Tapes ReWind Version 2
2019: My Mothers Dress (Finalist Winner), PPC Imaginarium, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg.
2018: Home Affairs / Artweek Cape Town (Curated by Astrid Von Brucken), Collaborative Intervention,  Daor Contemporary, Cape Town.
2018: Deconstructing National Monuments, Thupelo Workshop, Cape Town.
2018: Artists Breath, GUS Stellenbosch, Cape Town.
2016: Paths of Pilgrimage, Roundabout.LX, Lisbon.
2015: Bloed, Snake Eagle Thinking Path, Matjiesfontein, South Africa.
2014: Making Space, Open City, Church Square, Cape Town.
2014: Basurama, Gardens, Cape Town.
2014: Kraal.Installation Performance, Nieu Bethesda, South Africa.
2014:  Hyym Zys Hyym/Home Sweet Home Installation, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, Oudshoorn.
2014: Cage of Follies, Geodesic Dome, Tankwa Karoo, South Africa.
2013: Lifna Adam- Artisinal Response, Installation,  Fez, Morocco.
2013: Xtincture & the Salt in the Wound, Greatmore Studio, Cape Town.
2011: Ithemba Love Letters (with OneMileClock), BurningMan, Nevada.
2010: Dream Interactive BodyMap Installation, AfriKaburn, Stonehenge Private Reserve, South Africa.
2010: TroyArtPuppet contributor to TroyArt, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


2019: Mihloti Ya Wansati / Women’s Tears (with Lizette Chirimme), Investec Art Fair Gallery Night, AVA Stoep, Cape Town.
2017: What the Body Remembers, Collaborative Alliance Française du Cap, Cape Town.
2017: Drawing the Line, Kalk Bay Platform, Collaborative public intervention with Gita Galinea and SlowLife, Kalk Bay, South Africa
2014: How long is a piece of string? Afrikaburn, Tankwa Karoo, South Africa.


Tuli Mekondjo

b. Kwanza-Sul, Angola, 1982. Lives in Windhoek, Namibia.

Tuli Mekondjo’s works vividly express the generative powers of women, nature and the imagination in healing, and build on her early history of displacement as a Namibian refugee in Angola and Zambia during the struggle for Namibian Independence. A primarily self-taught artist, Mekondjo has been exhibiting her works since 2016 and is represented by Guns & Rain.


Self Taught

Solo exhibitions

2023: Ousi Martha. Guns & Rain, Johannesburg
2022: Oudjuu wo makipa etu/ The burdens of our Bones. Hales Gallery, London.
2020:  Investec Cape Town Art Fair, with Guns & Rain, Cape Town, South Africa.
2019:  The Project Room,  Windhoek, Namibia.
2016:  The Bellowing Mind, Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre, Windhoek, Namibia.

Group Exhibitions (Namibia)

2023:The Fish That Sees Its Water Getting Shallow Cannot Be Stranded. The Project Room, Windhoek
2018: Future Africa Visions in Time, Windhoek, Namibia (a collaboration between the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, Iwalewahaus Bayreuth and the Goethe-Institut Namibia).

Group Exhibitions (International)

2024: Decade: 10 Years of Guns and Rain, Johannesburg
2024: Cantando Bajito: Testimonies. Ford Foundation Gallery, New York
2024: Memoria: récits d'une autre Histoire. Foundation H, Antananarivo
2024: The Dak'art Biennial of Contemporary African Art: The Wake. Dakar, Senegal
2023: To be Named. HausKunstMitte, Berlin
2023:O Quilombismo: Of Resisting and Insisting Of Flight as Fight Of Other Democratic Egalitarian Political Philosophies. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
2023: Common Ground. DAAD Galerie, Berlin
2023: EXPO Chicago, with Hales Gallery, Chicago
2023: ARCO Lisboa, with Guns & Rain, Lisbon
2023: Ousi Martha, Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Basel
2023: Art Central Hong Kong, with Guns & Rain, Hong Kong
2023: Memoria: récits d'une autre histoire. National Museum, Camaroon
2023: From Windhoek to Kamina to Nauen. IDEAL Art Space, Leipzig
2022: Investec Cape Town Art Far, Guns & Rain, Cape Town
2022: Unsettled. Duende Art Projects, Antwerp.
2021: Un.e Air.e de Famille. Musée Paul Éluard de Saint Denis, Paris.
2021: African Galleries Now. Artsy, with Guns & Rain 
2021: Frac Nouvelle Aquitaine. MÉCA, France
2021: 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. London, UK with Guns & Rain
2021: Face-to-face. Traversées Africaines, Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris
2021: Threads. Duende Art Projects, Antwerp. 
2020:  Borders of Memory, (online), Guns & Rain, Johannesburg.2020: 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. London, UK with Guns & Rain
2020:  Virtual Contemporary Art Fair, ARCO Lisboa, Lisbon.
2019:  1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Guns & Rain, London, United Kingdom.
2019:  Suffrage, Guns & Rain, Johannesburg.
2019:  NJE Collective, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town.
2018:  NJE Collective, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg.2022: I was her and she was me..., Sakhile&Me, Frankfurt
2016:  Collective at the Art Market, Budapest, Hungary.


Foundation Blachere, France.
Ilham Gallery, Malaysia.
University of South Africa (UNISA).
ARAK Collection, Qatar.
Africa First Collection, Palestine.

Media links


Yasmien Mackay

b. 1997, Durban, South Africa; lives in Durban.

Yasmien Mackay utilizes digital photography, video and printing, with found objects and installation, to explore and provoke responses to questions of patriarchy, culture, language and identity in contemporary society. A graduate of DUT, Mackay has been exhibiting her work since 2016.


2019:  Bachelor of Technology, Fine Art (cum laude),  Durban University of Technology, Durban.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2020:  An Unfurling: Young Artist Project, KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts (KZNSA) Gallery, Durban.
2019:  When Thoughts Become Things, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
2019:  Zeitgeist Africa, Durban University of Technology Gallery, Durban.
2019:  Entrepreneurship Through the Arts, Durban International Convention Centre, Durban.
2019:  Emma Smith Nominee Exhibition, Durban University of Technology, Durban.
2018:  DUT Fine Art & Jewellery Design Graduate Exhibition, KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts (KZNSA) Gallery, Durban.
2018:  SHIFT. DISREGARD. RETHINK, Durban University of Technology Gallery, Durban.
2018:  DOES THIS OFFEND YOU?  BAT Centre, Durban.
2016:  National Creative Arts Youth Festival, Durban University of Technology Gallery, Durban.
2016:  New Beginners, Durban Art Space, Durban.


2019:  Fine Art Excellence Award (Fourth Year Top Student), Durban University of Technology.
2018:  Fine Art Excellence Award (Third Year Top Student), Durban University of Technology.
2018:  Dean’s Merit Award for National Diploma in Fine Art, Durban University of Technology.
2017:  Fine Art Excellence Award (Second Year Top Student), Durban University of Technology.
2016:  Third Place, National Creative Arts Youth Festival.
2016:  Fine Art Excellence Award (First Year Top Student), Durban University of Technology.









Krishna Luchoomun

b. 1962, Mauritius.

Krishna Luchoomun is an artist, art lecturer and organiser from Mauritius. He is the co-founder of pARTage, an artist led art organisation working for the promotion of contemporary art in Mauritius.


Because of its colonial past, Mauritius is an island where different cultural groups pretend to live together. Since my early childhood, I have been exposed to different customs and traditions and this has helped shape my awareness of the world, of what it means to be human and of the innate need that most of us have to connect – physically, emotionally and spiritually – with other human beings and with the natural world. This sensitivity is at the heart of my practice. I use clothing not only as a basic material, but essentially as a means of artistic expression to revisit both slavery and indentureship to explore issues pertaining to Identity, multiculturalism and nationhood. And linking these to the reality of today’s world in relation to life, culture, economy and politics of Mauritian society.

Art Education

Currently Senior Lecturer at M.G.I. School of Fine Arts
1990 M.A. in fine arts, Academy of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, former USSR
Part-time lecturer, Visual Arts Department, Mauritius Institute of Education
Part-time lecturer, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mauritius
Part-time lecturer, IVTB School of design, Mauritius

Solo Exhibitions

2015 My Soviet years, French Cultural centre, Mauritius
2010 Doors, Imaaya gallery, Mauritius
2006 KULER RUZ&lt, gallery, Mauritius
2004 Charles Gounod Gallery, Reunion
2000 Plantage Dookland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2000 Alliance Française, Mauritius
1991 Eureka House, Mauritius
1990 House of Friendship, Leningrad, Russia

Group Exhibitions

2017 pARTage International Artists Workshop, French Cultural centre
2017 Artistes des Iles de L`ocean Indien, La Region, Reunion
2017 Third Dot, Long Beach Hotel, Mauritius
2017 PORLWI by Nature, Mauritius
2017 Geumgang Nature Art Center, South Korea
2016 Mother Earth, Father Sky, Tsukuba Art Centre, Japan
2016 Borderline, Granary, Mauritius
2016 WE- Architecture, Korean Cultural centre Delhi, India
2016 METAFORM; Rogers House, Mauritius
2016 PORLWI by People, Mauritius
2015 First Mauritius Pavilion 56th Venice Biennale, Italy
2014 ARTchipelago, IFM, Mauritius
2013 IKARU, Pretoria Art Museum, South Africa
2013 Offline, Portugal
2012 Thupelo, Johannesburg, South Africa
2012 Triangle 30 years, New York, USA
2011 CBK Zuidoost gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2010 International workshop, AIFACS, India
2009 SADC meeting, Botswana
2008 Beijing 3rd Biennale, China
2007 insulART international exhibition, MGI, Mauritius
2006 Open Studios, Gasworks, London, UK
2006 Britto, Bangladesh
2005 2nd Biennale Beijing, China
2005 2nd East African Biennale, Tanzania
2004 pARTage International Artists Workshop, Mauritius
2003 Staedlijk Museum of Zwolle, The Netherlands
2003 Nicole Chabot and Krishna, Alliance Francaise, Mauritius
2003 Abiko Open Air exhibition, Abiko, Japan
2003 Latitude 2003, Municipality of Paris, France
2003 Karte postale, St Pierre, Reunion
2003 Modern Arts Museum, Windhoek, Namibia
2002 1st Triennial, Mauritius
2001 Slip Way Art Gallery, Dar-Es-Salam, Tanzania
1999 International artists` workshop, Nida, Lithuania
1999 World Print Triennial, Chamalieres, France
1999 MOBAA Millenium exhibition, Mauritius
1999 Escale International Exhibition, Eureka, Mauritius
1999 MOBBA Sequences, Le Caudan, Mauritius
1999 African contemporary Art, Beijing, China
1997 9th Triennial, India
1995 Africus, Johannesburg Biennial, South Africa
1995 Uecker Class, Dusseldorf, Germany
1994 World Prints Triennial, Chamalieres, France
1994 Werkhof gallery, Germany
1993 Bothnia Seascape, Oulu, Finland
1993 Salon d’Automne, Paris, France
1992 Biennial of Seychelles

Residencies & Workshops

1993 Seascape Symposium, Finland
1995 Uecker Workshop, Dusseldorf, Germany
1995 International Creole Festival, Reunion
1997 Gandhi Residential Artists Workshop, India
1998 Printmaking Workshop with H. Di. Rosa, French Cultural Centre
1999 Residential Workshop, Nida, Lithuania
2000 Printmaking Workshop, Reunion
2000 SADC Art and Crafts workshop, Namibia
2001 Thami Mnyele, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2001 Raffiki International Artists` workshop, Tanzania
2003 Abiko Residential workshop, Japan
2004 pARTage Residential workshop, Mauritius
2005 2nd Beijing Biennale workshop, China
2006 Two Months residency at Gas works studios, London
2007 insulART workshop, Mauritius
2007 ESCALE 10 years later, Mauritius
2008 Britto international workshop, Bangladesh
2008 Beijing Biennale, China
2009 Indian diaspora workshop, Mauritius

Art Positions Held

2017 Head of International Jury, Seychelles Biennale
2016 International Jury Barclays, L`Atelier, Johannesburg
2011 International Jury Video Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2003 Co-founder of pARTage (association of Mauritian artists), Mauritius
Art organiser, Mauritius Examinations Syndicate, Mauritius
Art examiner, Mauritius Examinations Syndicate, Mauritius
Member of Arts Panel at Curriculum Research Center, Mauritius


Museum of U.S.S.R Academy of Fine Arts, Russia
State House of Republic of Mauritius, Mauritius
Prime Minister`s Office, Mauritius
Municipality of Port-Louis, Mauritius
Airport of Mauritius, Mauritius
The British Council, Mauritius
Bothnia Seascape Fund, Finland
The municipality of Salazie, Reunion
Bank National of Paris, Mauritius
Lalit Kala Academy Fund, India
Mauritius Offshore Banking Activities Authority, Mauritius
Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris, France
Thami Mnyele Foundation, The Netherlands
Rafiki Foundation, Tanzania
Munich Re- Insurance (German Offshore), Mauritius
Avalon Golf Estate, Mauritius
Office of the president of India, India
International Financial Services, Mauritius
Mauritius Commercial Bank
Central Bank of Mauritius
Private Collections in France, Reunion, England, Russia, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, India, The Netherlands, South Africa, Namibia, Belgium

Published Works & Critical Reviews

Salon d’Automne, France
Biennial of Seychelles, Seychelles
World Printstriennial, Chamalieres, France
World of Ex-Libris, Switzerland
Made in Mauritius, Germany
9th Trienniale, India
MOBAA, Mauritius
Artists of the World – Save the Children, Mauritius
MOBAA Millenium exhibition, Mauritius
Abiko 2003, Japan
Latitude 2003, Paris, France
pARTage workshop 2004, Mauritius
2nd Biennale, China
Art in Mauritius, Mauritius
Springerin, Austria
3rd Biennale, China
Ties, Mauritius
Venice Biennial

Wonder Buhle

b.  Kwa-Ngcolosi, KwaZulu-Natal, 1989

Wonder Buhle is a mixed-media artist whose work deals with family dynamics and the stereotypes associated with men in South Africa.

Education and Teaching

2011: Advanced apprenticeship training, Durban University of Technology, Durban.
2011: Velobala Mentorship Programme, Durban University of Technology, Durban.
2011: Drawing and painting teacher, BAT Centre, Durban.
2010: Visual Arts Residency Program, BAT Centre, Durban.

Solo Exhibitions (South Africa)

2020: COMFORT, BKhz, Johannesburg.
2018: Ukumisa Insika, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.

Solo Exhibitions (International)

2019: To Find Me, PilippZollinger Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2019: the head the hand, Blank Projects, Cape Town.
2017: Looking After Freedom, Michealis gallery, Cape Town.
2017: FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg.
2016: FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg.
2015: Members exhibition, KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts (KZNSA) Gallery, Durban.
2015: Blowing in the wind, KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts (KZNSA) Gallery, Durban.
2015: Joburg Art Fair Fringe, Johannesburg.
2015: Henry George Gallery, Johannesburg.
2014: 50 shades of Grey, Art Eye Gallery, Johannesburg.
2014: Young Blood Gallery, Cape Town.
2014: African Art Centre, Durban.
2014: AWE, KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts (KZNSA) Gallery, Durban.
2013: Misconception, Durban University of Technology, Durban.
2013: Art Eye Gallery, Johannesburg.
2013: Margate Art Museum, Margate.
2013: African Art Centre, Durban.
2012: Velobala exhibition, Durban University of Technology, Durban.
2012: ABSA L’atelier competition, Art Space Gallery, Durban.
2011: Don't Panic, Durban Art Gallery.
2011: Velobala exhibition, African Art Centre, Durban.
2011: Who am I, BAT Centre, Durban.
2011: Izikhwephazethu, Durban Art Gallery.
2010: Student exhibition, BAT Centre, Durban.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2023: Filling in the Pieces in Black, Maruani Mercier, Brussels, Belgium.
2020: The Medium is the Message, Unit London, London.
2018: In residence: Joey Chin & Buhle Wonder Mbambo, The Art House, Wakefield, United Kingdom.
2016: Bremer Burgerschaft, Bremen Parliament, Germany.
2012: Städtische Galerie, Bremen, Germany.

Public Art Projects

2014: Mural, Colgate and Palmolive, kan land, Durban.
2012: Mural, Lindelani primary school, Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal.
2011: Mural, Inqolo Noseyili exhibition (by artist Zoro Xaba), Durban.
2011: Mural, Renewing BAT Centre, Durban.
2011: Mural, Don't Panic exhibition, behind English Market, Durban.
2010: Mosaic, Sakhithemba Centre, Ilovu, KwaZulu-Natal.


2012: Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) Art workshop, Collective Studios (residency abroad discourse), Johannesburg.
2012: Don’t Panic facilitated by Gabi Ngcobo, Zamani Makhanye & Sfiso Ka-Mkame, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
2011: Sculpture workshop with Danielle Ncube, BAT Centre, Durban.
2011: Art workshop (Tribute to Ernest Mancoba) curated by Lionel Davis, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
2011: Art workshop exploring Contemporary art, Edel Studio, Bremen, Germany.


Nandos commission.
Colgate commission.


Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
Art Eye Gallery, Johannesburg.
Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa.

Wonder Buhle's work is also included in private collections in Austria, Switzerland and the USA.

Mthobisi Maphumulo

b. 1988, Imfume, Durban, South Africa.
Mthobisi Maphumulo is a Durban-based artist and the founder of the Amasosha Art Movement, a collective of young artists working in the city. He uses oil pastel and monoprint, making figurative imagery that is critical of capitalist social structures, like race and class. Using symbolism and layered titling, his works reflect on South Africa’s unequal economy, emphasising the social and psychological effects of dispossession and impoverishment.

Art Education

2015: Certificate in The Business of Art, Curate.A.Space, Durban.
2013: Printmaking Workshop, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
2012: Certificate in Mural making, Bremen.
2010: Certificate in Visual Art, BAT Centre, Durban.
2011: Certificate, Velobala weekend art classes, African Art Centre, Durban.

Group  Exhibitions (South Africa)

2020: Turbine Art Fair, World Art Gallery, Cape Town.
2019: Articulate Africa, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town.
2018: Thupelo International workshop exhibition, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
2017: From the horse’s mouth, Ebony gallery, Cape Town.
2017: Members group exhibition, KZNSA Gallery, Durban.
2016: Beyond binaries, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
2016: Essence Festival, ICC, Durban.
2016: 20 Years Later: A Fresh Look at the Bill of Rights, African Art Centre, Durban.
2016: Invisible, KZNSA Gallery, Durban.
2015: Lessons, Nedbank, Durban.
2015: Joburg fringe, ArtsonMain, Johannesburg.
2015: After Winter, Henry George Gallery, Johannesburg.
2015: Fresh produce, Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg.
2015: Digital art, BAT Centre, Durban.
2015: Blowing Minds, University of the Free State gallery, Bloemfontein; KZNSA gallery, Durban.
2015: Transformation, Incubation, Activation, KZNSA Gallery, Durban.
2014: Reflection, BAT Centre, Durban.
2014: Ababhemu, 8 Morrison Street, Durban; Grahamstown Art Festival, Grahamstown.
2014: Hilton Art Festival, Durban.
2014: Bobathathu June 16 exhibition, Sushi Corner, Durban.
2014: Awe, What you say about what?, KZNSA Gallery, Durban.
2014: Twenty/20 - A clear vision, Growing the Mandela Legacy, Unisa Art Gallery, Pretoria.
2014: Emerging Eyes, African Art Centre, Durban.
2013: Group Exhibition, The Collective art gallery, Durban.
2013: Group Exhibition, Wushwini Art and Culture Heritage Centre, Durban.
2012: Contemporary Voices, African Art Centre, Durban.
2011: Izikhwepha Zethu, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
2011: Don’t Panic, Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
2010: Group Exhibition, BAT Centre, Durban.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2018: 7th International Biennial pastel exhibition, Nowy Sącz, Poland.

Amasosha collective exhibitions

2016: Messages from the Soul, KZNSA Gallery, Durban.
2016: Creative pot, Umlazi community hall, Durban.
2016: Hope in the struggle, Amini Florida, Durban.
2015: Siyaya, Greedy Buddha, Umhlanga.
2015: Eye Candy, Hilton Art Festival, Durban.
2015: Umhlabelo, Atelier Shop 2, Durban; BAT Centre, Durban.

Public Art Projects

2010: Mosaic at Sakhithemba Centre, KwaZulu-Natal.
2011: Mural of Inqola noseyili at photography exhibition by Zoro Xaba, Durban.
2011: Renewal of BAT Centre Mural, Durban.
2011: Waterfall Mural, Victoria Market bridge (for Don’t panic exhibition), Durban.
2012: Mural in Concordia-Tunnel, Bremen, Germany.


Nandos Art Collection, Southern Africa.
Amazwi Contemporary Art, Michigan.
Leiterin der stadtischen Galerie, Bremen.
Durban Art Gallery collection, Durban.
Bertha Foundation collection, International.
Deborra Patta private collection, South Africa.
Kevin Mabanga private collection, South Africa.
William Humphrey's Art Gallery 


2015: Most promising artist, KZNSA Gallery, Durban.


2023: ASAI Print Access Workshop, Art Print Studio KZN, Durban.
2022: Art Director and Founder of Amashosha Art Movement
2022: Facilitator at Ikomkhulu Art Space
2013: Assistance in Don't Panic Exhibition by curator Gabi Ngcobo, Durban Art Gallery
2012: Facilitator at Wushwini Art and Culture Heritage, Art in school Project, Durban.


Jill Trappler

Jill Trappler

Jb. 1957 Benoni, South Africa. Lives in Cape Town.

Jill Trappler has been a consistent exponent of non-representational art since the 1980s, as an artist and teacher. A stalwart of the Thupelo Project and Greatmore Artists Studios, Jill Trappler has been an influential presence in the South African art world and the Triangle Network. Jill established the Philani weaving project and the Intle cooperative project in Site B and Philippi, Cape Town. 

Art Education

1975- 1979: Johannesburg Art Foundation, Johannesburg.
1975- 1978: Bachelor of Arts, UNISA, South Africa.


2020: Canvas Workshop Residency with Jill Trappler, Lionel Davis and Garth Erasmus, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town.
2015: Triangle Workshop, New York.
1997-2014: Thupelo, various regional and local workshops.
1996: Thupelo, Johannesburg [participant].
1981-84: Community Arts Project (CAP), Cape Town.

Solo Exhibitions

2019: Reverberations, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2019: Stoep, Gallery South, Muizenberg.
2016: Cape Town Art Fair, Seippel Gallery, Cape Town.
2016: That Art Fair, Cape Town.
2016: Gallery Mojo, Dubai.
2016: Kim Sack Gallery, Johannesburg.
2016: Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2016: Irma Stern Gallery, Cape Town.
2015: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2015: Canteen Gallery, Arts on Main, Johannesburg.
2012: Knysna Fine Arts Gallery, Knysna, Western Cape.
2010: Casa Labia Gallery, Muizenberg.
2009: Irma Stern Gallery, Cape Town.
2008: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2008: Joe's Choice, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2007: Bag Factory gallery, Johannesburg.
2007: Studio exhibition, Orange Street Studios, Cape Town.
2006: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2006: Kwa-Zulu Natal Association of Arts gallery, Durban.
2003: Bellville Art, Cape Town.
2003: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2002: Bag Factory, Johannesburg.
2001: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2000: Tatham Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, KZN.
1999: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1997: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1995: Prime Art Gallery, Cape Town.
1995: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1990: Gallery International, Cape Town.
1990: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (Local)

2019: Nel gallery, Cape Town.
2018: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2018: Greatmore Street Gallery, Cape Town.
2018: Africa Nova.
2018: Artvark.
2017: TAG: Celebrating Greatmore and Thupelo.
2016: Cape Town Art Fair.
2016: Bag Factory, Johannesburg.
2016: Turbine art fair, Johannesburg.
2016: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2015: Artvark gallery, Cape Town.
2015: An Awareness of trees, Art Sauce, Cape Town.
2015: Thupelo workshop exhibitions.
2014: Casa Labia Gallery, Cape Town.
2013: Imibala Gallery, Somerset West, Western Cape.
2013: Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town.
2013: Johannesburg Art Fair, Seippel Gallery, Johannesburg.
2012: Cape Town, Casa Labia Gallery.
2012: Vulnerable Landscape, Prince Albert Festival, Western Cape.
2012: Johannesburg Art Fair, Seippel Gallery.
2011: Johannesburg Art Fair, Seippel Gallery.
2010: Divisions: Aspects of South African Art 1948 – 2010, SMAC, Stellenbosch.
2010: Waters/Vasia, Cape Town; Durban Art space Gallery; Bag Factory.
2010: End Conscription Campaign, Stellenbosch, Spier Gallery.
2010: These four walls, Cape Town.
2010: Greatmore Street Gallery, Cape Town.
2008: Abstract South African Art from the Isolation Years: Part 3, SMAC, Stellenbosch.
2008: Seippel Gallery, Johannesburg.
2007: Thupelo workshop exhibitions.
2005: Thupelo workshop exhibitions.
2004: Strangers,Cape Town.
2004: Time, Memory, Desire, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.
2002: The Mythic Image, ART B, Cape Town.
2001: Brain storm, The Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2001: 3/3, The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2001: Spirit of the place, The Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1996: Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.
1991: Newtown Gallery, Johannesburg.
1990: Thupelo workshop exhibitions.
1988: FUBA Gallery, Newtown, Johannesburg.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2015: Salem, New York.
2011: Waters/Vasia, Finland.
2009: Lessedra Contemporary Art Projects, Bulgaria.
2009: 7th British International Mini Print exhibition, England.
2008: Lessedra Contemporary Art Projects, Bulgaria.
2008: Busan Biennale, Korea.
2007: Lessedra Contemporary Art Projects, Bulgaria.
2004: Strangers, New Zealand.
2004: Strangers, Canada.
2002: Spirit of the place, Wales.
1999: Workshop exhibition, Kampala.
1998: Munich Book Fair, Munich.

Teaching and Lecturing

2015: Summer School, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
2009: ArtSauce Studios.
2014: Summer School, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
2013: Part-time lecturer Michaelis Art School, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
2012: Summer School, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
2011: Philani employment project.
2010: Drawing project, Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town.
2010: Summer School, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
2009: Summer School, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
2008: Orange street open studios, Cape Town.
2006: Occupational Therapy Department, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town.
2003: Orange street open studios, Cape Town.
2005: Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2000 to 2004: Summer School, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
2000: Zurich Workshop for Peace movement, Zurich.
2000: Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
1998: Tatham Gallery Workshop for local artists, Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
1981 to 1984: Private studio and Community Art Project, Cape Town.
1977-1976: The Federated Union for Black artists.
1977-1976: Johannesburg Art Foundation, Johannesburg.
1977-1976: Johannesburg School for Autism, Johannesburg.
1977- 1976: Johannesburg, Newtown Indian primary school.


2015: Thupelo Visual Art Workshop Exhibition Auction, Cape Town.
2015: An Awareness of Trees, Art Sauce, Cape Town.
2014-2015: Thupelo Art Projects, Cape Town.
2010-2012: Group Exhibition, the Spanish Ambassadors’ Residence, Cape Town.
2007: Triangle Africa Arts Trust conference, Cape Town.
1998: Trans figurative, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
1995: Launch, Greatmore street Studios project, Cape Town.
1986: Thupelo International Art Workshop Project, Cape Town.
1980: Co-founder, Thupelo Cape Town workshops, Cape Town.


2015-2016: The Assembly, a Thupelo initiative for the Triangle network in Cape Town.
2014-2015: Re looking, Echo shelter project, Cape Town.
2010: Philani employment project, Cape Town.
2009-2010: Echo shelter project. Cape Town.
2009: Coral, crocheting project.
2009: Real stories gallery website; HIV in the SADAC region.
1997: Switzerland for Pro Helvetia; studio exchange programs.
1991: Cape Town Exhibition coordinator, Valkenburg hospital at UCT.


2007: Appointed to attend a donors meeting in Amsterdam, Arts Collaboratory.
2007: Research and interviews for book about Bill Ainslie.
2006: Documentary video on GMS and Thupelo.
2005: Research and interviews for book about Bill Ainslie.

Studio Employment

2008: Philani nutrition clinic, Greatmore Street Studios, Cape Town.
1998: Philani nutrition clinic, Greatmore Street Studios, Cape Town.
1996: Facilitator, De Lorentz Clinic, Cape Town.
1995: Facilitator, De Lorentz Clinic, Cape Town.
1995: Established art studios at Valkenburg hospital, Cape Town.
1987: Printmaking Employment project, Crossroads, Cape Town.
1981: Hannes Hares, Weaving Studio, Cape Town.
1981: Philani Nutrition Clinic, Crossroads and Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
1980: Established the Intle weaving co-operative, Crossroads, Cape Town.
1980: Facilitator, The Care Village, London.
1976: Professional weaver for Peter Solaris and Helen de Lieu.
1975: Professional weaver for Peter Solaris and Helen de Lieu.
1978: Occupational Therapy, Baragwanath hospital, Soweto.
1977: Occupational Therapy, Baragwanath hospital, Soweto.
1976: Occupational Therapy, Baragwanath hospital, Soweto..


2007-2014: Board member, Bag Factory Studios, Johannesburg.
2009: Chair, Africa region Commonwealth Foundation awards.
2007: Selection panel, Commonwealth foundation awards.
2002: Board Member, the National Arts Council.
1996-2009: Trustee and founder member, Greatmore Street Studios, Cape Town.
1996- 2007: Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town.
1988-on going: Coordinator, the Thupelo workshops, Cape Town.


South African National Gallery (SANG)
University of Cape Town
Spier Foundation
Creative blocks


2014: Polly Savage, Robert Loder, John Picton and Anthony Caro (eds.), Making art in Africa 1960–2010, Lund Humphries, London.


Maimuna Adam

Maimuna Adam

b. 1984, Maputo, Mozambique.

Maimuna Adam employs a diverse set of techniques to bring together the themes of memory, history, travel and migration. Her works weave fictional and non-fictional narratives related to the experiences of family and friends.


2008: Bachelor of Arts, Fine Art, University of Pretoria.

Solo Exhibitions (Mozambique)

2014:​ ¡Toma!, Instituto Cultural Moçambique-Alemanha (ICMA-Goethe Zentrum), Maputo.
2013​: Bon Voyage, Galeria “Sala de Espera”, Associação Kulungwana, Maputo

Solo Exhibitions (International)

2015: Family, Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), Bayreuth.

Group Exhibitions (Mozambique)

2015​: Colecção Crescente, Galeria “Sala de Espera”, Associação Kulungwana, Maputo.
2014​: Processos, Galeria “Sala de Espera”, Associação Kulungwana, Maputo.
2013: Crescent Collection, Kulungwana, Maputo.
2013: Living in this world, Mediateca BCI – Espaço Joaquim Chissano, Maputo.
2012: Between there and here, Bienal MUVART’12, ICMA-Goethe Zentrum, Maputo
2012: Crescent Collection, Kulungwana, Maputo.
2011: Dockanema 6, Video Art/Fundação PLMJ session, Maputo.
2011: Bienal TDM 2011, National Art Museum, Maputo.
2011: Exhibition of Mozambican Art, French-Mozambican Cultural Center, Maputo.
2010: MUVART’10 Contemporary Art Bienale, National Art Museum, Maputo.
2010: Women and Borders, French-Mozambican Cultural Center, Maputo.
2010: Love/Hate soccer, French-Mozambican Cultural Center, Maputo.
2010: Temporary Occupations – Paper/Role, Minerva Central Bookshop, Maputo.
2009: TDM Bienal, National Art Museum, Maputo.
2009: Karingana wa Karingana, Camões Institute, Maputo.
2004: Art in the Feminine, National Art Museum, Maputo.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2015: Rastros, Museu Capixaba do Negro (MUCANE), Vitória, Espírito Santo.
2015: As Margens dos Mares, SESC Pinheiros, São Paulo.
2015: Odyssées Africaines, BRASS Centre Culturel de Forest, Brussels.
2013: !Kauru: Africa Imagined, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria.
2013: hetero q.b., Chiado National Contemporary Art Museum, Lisbon.
2013: Temporary Occupations – Documents, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon.
2012: 100 Works, 10 Years: A Selection from the PLMJ Foundation Collection, Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva Foundation, Lisbon.
2012: _tribune video, École Superieure d’Art de La Réunion, Le Port, Réunion.
2012: Africa meets Europe, Galeri Matesh, Breda.
2012: César Schofield Cardoso, Maimuna Adam, René Tavares, Graça Brandão Gallery, Lisbon.
2012: VI São Tomé & Príncipe Art and Culture Bienal, Museu da Cidade, Lisbon
2011: VI Art and Culture Bienal, CACAU, São Tomé.


2012: PLMJ Foundation CPLP Video Art Prize, Lisbon
2009: Honorable mention for video, “The Curtain”, TDM Bienal, National Art Museum, Maputo.


Khumo Sebambo, Negotiating the in-between, (ASAI, 2019).


Saara Nekomba

b.1986, Elombe, Namibia; lives in Windhoek.

Saara Nekomba is a Namibian artist who creates mixed-media paintings using beads, textiles and collage.


2015: ASAI In Print, Print Access Workshop Series, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
2009: Diploma, Applied Arts, College of the Arts, Windhoek.
2007: John Muafangejo Art Centre, Windhoek.

Solo Exhibitions (Namibia)

2014: Abstract Intervention, Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre, Windhoek.

Group Exhibitions (Namibia)

2014: Bank Windhoek Triennial Exhibition, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek.
2009 - 2014: New Beginnings, Annual College of the Arts Exhibitions, Windhoek.
2009 - 2014: VA-N (Visual Artists Namibia), Annual Members’ Exhibitions, Woermannhaus Gallery, Swakopmund.
2012: Ghetto Soldier, Katutura Community Arts Centre Gallery, Windhoek.
2011: Oshietwapo Exhibition
2007 - 2008: Annual Student Exhibition, John Muafangejo Art Centre, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2014: Thupelo Exhibition, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South Africa.
2012: World Events Young Artist (WEYA), Bonington Building, Nottingham, England.
2012: Group Exhibition, Lakeside Arts Centre Nottingham, England.
2012: 5th African Arts and Craft Expo, Abuja, Nigeria.


Lionel Davis

b. 1936, District Six, Cape Town. Lives in Muizenberg, Cape Town.

A former political prisoner, Lionel Davis’ name features prominently in the history of the Community Arts Project, Vakalisa Art Associates, Thupelo Workshop and Greatmore Artists Studios. Drawing, painting, and printing, and often combining these media, Davis works in visual modes that range from the realist to the abstract. His themes include everyday scenes as well as reflections on black and African identity. In 2024, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. 

This was initially published online in 2003 (on the Africa Centre’s Contemporary Africa Database, now defunct). It appears here in its original form.
Lionel Davis profile (published at www.africaexpert.org.uk)

Political activist and prisoner turned artist and educator, Lionel Davis cuts a distinct figure in the South African arts and culture landscape. A living archive, he has lived a significant part of his life in or on two of apartheids most notorious symbols, District Six and Robben Island. He has also been closely involved with two key arts organisations, the Community Arts Project (CAP) and the Thupelo Workshop.

It was at an early age growing up in District Six that Davis “became aware of the brutality of police, especially white police, in their attitude to and treatment of people of colour”. Davis says that “this became more of an issue for me, and I always used to stand up for people who were being pushed around. This got me into trouble, and into fights… I was caned once by the police for allegedly hitting a white woman in Woodstock, when I was trying to defend a colleague…”. Aware of the need to educate himself Davis attended night school (on the site where Harold Cressy School now stands), where then in his mid-twenties, he met members of the Non European Unity Movement (NEUM) and began attending political meetings. Davis joined APDUSA (African Peoples Democratic Union of South Africa), an off-shoot of the NEUM, but grew disenchanted with them, describing APDUSA as a “theory shop”. He was part of the core group led by Neville Alexander that broke away from APDUSA to form the Mao Tse Tung inspired National Liberation Front, whose goal was to use arms to overthrow the state. In 1964 he was among a group of eleven that was sentenced to gaol for ‘Conspiring to Commit Sabotage’.

During his seven year sentence Davis completed his schooling by correspondence. Released in 1971 and placed under house arrest he worked as a labourer and then a clerk on building sites, until one day in 1978 he chanced upon CAP, then in infant form. At CAP Davis would go on to play multiple roles for over two decades. From his initial role as cleaner/ handyman/ assistant administrator and student, Davis went on to be a long serving art educator/trainer/ facilitator, specialising in drawing, screen-printing and mural painting, teaching children, youth and adults. He also played a leadership role in CAP: he was elected chairperson in 1988, playing the role of co-ordinator (or acting director); and in the nineties he served two years as a Trustee.

Prior to CAP, Davis’ had no previous art tuition. His art experience was limited to his childhood, drawing cartoon heroes with found materials on the streets and walls of District Six. At CAP he proved to be a diligent student, quickly mastering drawing, the medium that has remained the back-bone to his artistic practice. He was introduced to lino-cut printing by resident artist Mpathi Gocini, who came to CAP via the Evangelical Arts & Crafts Centre in Natal, better known by its location at Rorkes Drift. In 1980 Davis went to Rorkes Drift where he spent two years, returning to Cape Town with a diploma in Fine Arts. It was at Rorkes Drift that Davis learned new graphic techniques and began to appreciate the potential of screen-printing as a medium. His stay there was also important for his artistic development because it brought him into contact with other black artists nationally, paving the way for his later involvement with the Thupelo Workshop.

In 1982 Davis assisted in organising the Cape Town contingent to attend the Culture & Resistance Symposium in Gaborone, organised by the African National Congress (ANC). This is widely regarded as a seminal event which was responsible for recognising the role of artists in cultural resistance, and for shifting the notion of ‘artist’ to that of ‘cultural worker’. A direct outcome of this event was the establishment of a Poster Workshop at CAP. It was here, and its later incarnation as the CAP Media Project that Davis was active for most of the 80s as a screenprint facilitator. Initially most of this work involved producing posters, t-shirts, and banners, much of it political in content. Much of this was done on behalf of political and community organisations, and was frequently banned or confiscated by authorities; whereas his later work for the Media Project entailed training members of community and political organisations to produce their own media.

Davis also played a political role at CAP, especially in countering what he perceived as the hegemonic tendencies of political organisations.Following the launch in 1983 of the United Democratic Front (the internally based resistance movement that was politically aligned to the ANC), there was pressure on CAP to affiliate to the UDF. Similar pressures resurfaced in the late eighties. Davis says of CAP that “[although it] wished to play a political role in the struggle it did not see itself as being party political and made its facilities available to all progressive political tendencies.” He is proud of the role he played in communicating CAP’s non-aligned position to a range of political organisations, especially trade unions and community groupings who may have been alienated, or possibly denied access, by a politically aligned CAP.

In 1987 Davis attended the International Triangle Workshop in New York, an initiative that had given rise to the Thupelo Project a few years earlier. Davis was a Thupelo stalwart, serving as a Trustee for eleven years, and attending no less than nine national workshops between 1986 and 2001. He also attended triangle affiliated workshops in Botswana and Zimbabwe. Thupelo was initially best known for encouraging exploration of materials, and initially this resulted in a mass of abstract paintings. That many black artists abandoned (at least temporarily) more realist modes of working in favour of a painting style and approach that some radical critiques saw as an expression of American cultural imerialism, meant that Thupelo received a mixed reception on the left, whilst being welcomed by establishment voices such as the SA National Gallery’s Marilyn Martin. For many of the artists who were invited to these workshops, Thupelo was undeniably a liberating experience. For Davis, Thupelo was an important part of his exploration of painting, a media to which he had previously had limited access, and he derided his critics claiming that he had never had the opportunities to ‘play’ with art materials, something that was taken for granted as part of (mostly white) privileged children’s development. He also benefitted from Thupelo’s emphasis on scale, and some of his works from Thupelo, such as African Sunset, are among his best known.

Davis also worked as an art educator for the SA National Gallery (SANG), where he was responsible for teaching primary school teachers from the townships to teach art to children. This built on his experience teaching children (in the early eighties) and as media trainer at CAP, as well as the training he undertook (in the nineties) for a diploma from the Curriculum Development Project in teaching teachers to teach art in schools. He also served as a Trustee of the SANG as part of its first ‘democratically constituted’ Board. While the national galleries of Zimbabwe (who have used Davis three times an international ajudicator) and Botswana have bought works from Davis for their collection, the SANG has yet to acquire one of his works.

Davis’ current employer, the Robben Island Museum, has provided him with the unique opportunity to live on the site where he was once imprisoned. Initially employed as a tour guide along with other former political prisoners, Davis is now employed by the Museum as Heritage Educator and does much of his work with secondary school pupils. He plans to retire in three years, when at the ripe age of seventy we can expect his art to bloom like never before. Indeed Davis’ road to becoming an artist has been a much longer one than most other artists. He was 42 when he started classes at CAP and 58 when he graduated as a Fine Artist at UCT. His work has been exhibited in numerous group shows at home and abroad (USA, England, Germany, Greece), but he has never had a solo show. A Lionel Davis retrospective is clearly overdue.

Mario Pissarra

Kunst for alle. by Toril Kojan, 2005.

Overview of all activities - Kunst for alle


Life can be different – Learning Cape Festival, 2004.

Life can be different - Learning Cape Festival


First Mobil Zimbabwe Heritage Biennale, 1998.

Judging art comp - First Mobil Zimbabwe Heritage Biennale 1998


Zimbabwe Heritage, 1997.

Zimbabwe Heritage 1997


Zimbabwe Heritage, 1996.

Zimbabwe Heritage 1996


Akal – The Congress of South African Writers – August 88 Vol 1, 1988.

Akal - The Congress of South African Writers - August 88 Vol1


Ascent arts student’s publication, February 1984.

Ascent - Arts student's publication - February 1984


Songs of a New Dawn – Hymn book

Songs of a new dawn - Hymn book


Ten Years at Greatmore Studios Cape Town

Ten Years at Greatmore Studios Cape Town



25 Years of Caversham Press – Artists, Prints , Community. 2011.

25 Years of Caversham Press - Artists, Prints , Community


Reflections from Thupelo International Workshop, 2007.

Reflections from Thupelo International Workshop


Botaki 3 – Exhibition Catalogue, 2007.

Botaki 3 Exhibition Catalogue


Botaki 2 – Exhibition Catalogue, 2005.

Botaki 2 Exhibition Catalogue


Botaki 1 – Exhibition Catalogue, 2004.

Botaki Catalogue


Upfront and Personal – Three Decades of Political Graphics, 2003.

Upfront and Personal - Three Decades of Political Graphics


Cross Currents – Contemporary art practice in South Africa, an exhibition in two parts, 2000.

Cross Currents


Thirty minutes – Installation by nine artists, 1997.

Thirty Minutes - Installation by Nine Artists


Thapong international artist’s workshop Kenya, 1989.

Thapong International Artist's Workshop - Kenya 1989


The Neglected Tradition – Towards a New History of South African art, 1988.

The Neglected Tradition - Towards a new hisory of South African Art


Thupelo art workshop, 1986.

Thupelo Art Workshop 1986


Art From South Africa, 1990.

Art From South Africa


Making Art in Africa 1960-2010, ed. by Polly Savage. Published by Lund Humphries, December 2014.

Making Art in Africa 1960 - 2010


Uncontained – Opening the Community Arts Project archive, ed. by Heidi Grunebaum & Emile Maurice. Published by the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, 2012.

Uncontained - opening the Community Arts Project archive


Triangle: Variety of Experience around Artists’ Workshops and Residencies. Published by Triangle Arts Trust, 2007.

Triangle - Variety of experiences around artist's workshops &


Visual culture and public memory in a democratic South Africa, Annie Coombes. Published by Duke University Press Books, 2003.

Visual culture and public memory in a democratic South Africa


Shuld…immer nur die anderen. Published by Flensburger Hefte, 2004.

Shuld...immer nur die anderen


Turning to one another – Simple conversations to restore hope to the future, Margaret Wheatley. Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2002.

Turning to one another - Simple conversations to restore hope to the future


Printmaking in a transforming South Africa, Philipa Hobbs & Elizabeth Rankin. Published by David Krut Bookstores, 1997.

Printmaking in a transforming South Africa


Islamic Art and Culture in Sub Saharan Africa, Karin Adahl & Berit Sahlstrom.Published by Uppsala University, 1995.

Islamic Art and Culture in Sub Saharan Africa


Art From South African Townships, Gavin Younge. Published by Thames and Hudson, 1988.

Art of the South African Townships - Gavin Younge


Echoes of African Art, compiled by Matsemela Manaka. Published by Skotaville Publishers, 1987.

Echoes of African Art


Jabula Journal – Rorkes Drift student journal. Published by Rorkes Drift Fine Art School, 1981.

Jabula Journal - Rourkesdrift student journal


Until freedom Dawns – Poetry anthology, Frank Meintjies

Until freedom Dawns - Poetry anthology - Frank Meintjies


(School Project) – The Significance of CAP in the lives of Sydney Holo and Lionel Davis, Hannah Schultz

School Project - The significane of CAP in the lives of Sydney Holo and Lionel Davis



awakeningspublicationEdited by Mario Pissarra
Texts by Ayesha Price, Barbara Voss, Bridget Thompson, Deirdre Prins-Solani, Elizabeth Rankin & Philippa Hobbs, Ernestine White, Jacqueline Nolte, Lionel Davis, Patricia de Villiers, Thembinkosi Goniwe and Tina Smith, with introduction by Mario Pissarra, forewords by Bonita Bennett and Premesh Lalu, and preface by Nomusa Makhubu.
Design by Carlos Marzia
Date: 2017
ISBN 978-0-620-77209-9

Click here for more information.



Art Education

1995: Diploma from the Curriculum Development Project in teaching teachers to teach art in primary schools, Johannesburg, South Africa.
1994: B.A. Fine Arts degree, University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa.
1981: Diploma in Fine Arts Evangelical Lutheran Art and Craft Centre at Rorkes Drift, Kwazulu-Natal.
1978: Community Arts Project (CAP), Cape Town.

Workshops & residencies

2018: Print Access Workshop, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
2015: ASAI In Print, Print Access Workshop Series, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
2013: Thupelo, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
2010: Thupelo, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
2008: Thupelo, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.

2005: Caversham Press, KZN, South Africa.

2005: Thupelo, AMAC, Cape Town.
2004: Thupelo, Masibambisani School, Cape Town.
2001: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1997: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1995: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1993: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1992: Pachinpamwe Workshop, Zimbabwe.
1991: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1990: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1989: Thapong International Artists workshop, Botswana.
1988: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1987: Thupelo, Cape Town.
1987: Triangle International Artists workshop,Pine Plains, New York, USA.
1986: Thupelo, Cape Town.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018: Gathering Strands, retrospective, National Arts Festival, Makhanda. 
2016: Gathering Strands, retrospective, South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2009: Maskerade, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2007: Gill Aldermann Galery, Kenilworth, Cape Town.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018: Abstract Art in South Africa: Past & Present, Back to the Future III, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch. 
2018: Past/Modern, Peter E. Clarke & Lionel Davis, SMAC Gallery, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town.
2018: Feedback: Art, Africa and the 1980s, Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth, Germany.
2015: A Labour of Love, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt.
2007: Conversation In Four Parts (with Barbara Voss, Ruth Carneson and Paul Stopforth), Nelson Mandela Gateway, Cape Town.
2004: A Decade of Democracy: South African Art 1994 2004, National Gallery, Cape Town.
1998: Kaapse Lading, Athens, Greece.
1997: Kaapse Lading, Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn.
1995: National Gallery, Cape Town.
1994: [Joint SA exhibition], Museum of Modern Art, London, UK.
1994: National Gallery, Cape Town.
1992: Pachipamwe international artists exhibition, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo.
1992: Pachipamwe international artists exhibition, The National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare.
1992: South African Black and White 45 years on, Cape Town [organised by British Council].
1988: Neglected Tradition, Johannesburg Art Gallery.
1987: Triangle International Artist exhibition, Pine Plains, Upstate New York, USA.
1987: Johannesburg Art Foundation.
1987: NSA, Durban.
1987: Thupelo Workshop Exhibition, National Museum and Art Gallery, Gaborone, Botswana.
1986: Kuns Aus Sud Afrika, series of exhibitions in Germany (including Weltkulturen Museum).
1986: Art in our Time, Cape Town.
1986: Thupelo Workshop Exhibition, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1984: Second Carnegie Enquiry into Poverty' in SA.
1982: The Culture and Resistance Festival, Gaborone, Botswana.
1982: Art Toward Social Development An Exhibition of SA Art, National Museum and Art Gallery, Gaborone, Botswana.
1981: African Arts Festival, University of Zululand.


Public collections in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe.

Public Speaking

2014: Guest speaker at Impressions of Rorke’s Drift, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2014: Guest speaker at Talking Heads, Africa Centre, Cape Town.
2010: Guest speaker with Ahmed Kathrada and Christo Brandt, Freedom Park, Pretoria.
2005: Guest speaker, invited to speak on issues of human rights and colour prejudice, Ontario, Canada.
2002-2003: Guest speaker, invited to speak in multiple platforms such as schools, colleges and national television, Oslo, Norway.
2005: Panelist on human rights conference, University of Connecticut, USA.
1999: Guest speaker at the annual Humor Conference, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA.

Jarrett Erasmus

b. 1984, Cape Town. Lives in Johannesburg.

Erasmus works in various media, focusing on current collaboration while thinking about post apartheid realities and its affects on the social dynamics between communities in South Africa as well as the diaspora.


2017  Masters in Fine Art, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016  ZHdk Summer School programme, Zurich, Switzerland
2007 - 2010  Bachelor of Fine Arts, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
2005 - 2006  Design and Visual art Certificate, Arts and Media Access Centre (AMAC), Cape Town, South Africa
2003 – 2005  Cape Peninsula University of Technology Graphic Design

Projects and Exhibitions

2019  The Main Complaint, group exhibition, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa
2018  Curatorial Care, Humanising Practices conference, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South
2018  Museum Dialogues conference, Goethe Institut, Windhoek, Namibia
2018  Kewpie, The Daughter of District Six, public art event in collaboration with Gay And Lesbian Memory in Action and District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa
2017  Panelist, Any Given Sunday presentation, African Art in Venice Forum, Italy
2016  Re(as)sisting Narratives, group exhibition, District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa (Burning Museum)
2016  Foundations and Futures, group exhibition, Bag Factory Arts studios, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016  Festival D’Art Urbain, Antanarivo, Madagascar
2016  Straatpraatjies, Burning Museum performance, Cape Town, South Africa
2016  Poetry Circle Nowhere workshop, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2015  Empty Ghosts, Public Art project, Johannesburg, South Africa
2015  Artificial Facts: Boundary Objects, group exhibition, Kunsthaus Dresden, Germany (Burning Museum)
2015  Objetos Frontera, CA2M, Madrid, Spain (Burning Museum)
2015  Addressing the Headquarters, presentation, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Burning Museum)
2015  Cover Version, Gallery MoMo, Cape Town, South Africa (Burning Museum)
2015  Fortunes Remixed, group exhibition. Bag Factory Artist’s Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa
2014  Manufractured, Burning Museum performance, Cape Town, South Africa
2014  Ubuntu Artist Exchange, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY
2014  Plakkers, group exhibition, Brundyn Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (Burning Museum)
2014  Do It, Michaelis Gallery, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa (Burning Museum)
2013  TO LET , Centre For African Studies gallery, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa
2013  Co-Curator, Till it Breaks, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South Africa
2013  Currency and Curiosity, Joule City Incubator & Research Studio, Cape Town, South Africa
2012  Material Things, solo exhibition, Nafasi Art Space, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2012  S A S, group exhibition, Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa
2011  Mural Painting project at Community House, Salt River
2010  Plures Tectonicus (Many Mansions), Graduate solo exhibition, Albany Natural Sciences Museum Shell Gallery, Grahamstown, South Africa
2006  Mural painting, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa

Workshops and Residencies

2018  OpenLab: The Art of Making, artists residency, Richmond, South Africa
2015: ASAI In Print, Print Access Workshop Series, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
2014  Thupelo Artist’s Workshop, Cape Town, South Africa
2014  Arts Aweh Ambassadors programme (facilitator), Cape Town, South Africa
2013  Resident artist, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South Africa
2012 Cyan Development Concepts creative development workshops (teacher), Cape Town, South Africa
2012  Visiting Artist Residency, Through the lens: Drawing workshop, NAFASI Art Space, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2012  Visiting Artist Residency, Bag Factory Artist’s Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa
2012  Artist's workshop, Thupelo, Cape Town, South Africa
2011  Participant and facilitator, Koekenaap artists workshop, Matzikama District, South Africa


Awards and Academic achievements

2013  Business and Arts administrative certificate
2012  David Koloane Award
2011  Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (Painting), Masters Degree Scholarship


2017 - present  Sessional Lecturer, Visual Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
2014  Infecting the City Festival High Schools programme, South Africa
2013 – 2014  Researcher and Digital archivist, Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI), Cape Town, South Africa
2010 – 2012  Facilitator, Cyan Development Concepts community arts and creative development workshops, Cape Town, South Africa
2009 – 2010 Intern, Artb Gallery, Bellville, South Africa

Assistant (N.R.F. internship), Visual Art undergraduate programme, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Production Assistant, VOLTA Art Fair, Art Basel, Switzerland
Board member, Thupelo Artists Workshop, Cape Town, South Africa

Madi Phala

Madi Phala

b. Kwa-Thema, Springs, 1955. d. Langa, Cape Town, 2 March 2007

From his early Black Consciousness oriented drawings to his imaginative mixed media treatment of the herd-boy theme, Madi Phala’s works invariably represent a preoccupation with African culture as dynamic and emancipatory.

Madi Phala, original herd-boy (1955-2007)

© Mario Pissarra, 03 March 2007

Madi Phala, artist, designer, educator and original herd-boy, was robbed and fatally stabbed outside his home in Langa, Cape Town on the evening of Friday 2nd March 2007.

Born in Kwa-Thema, Springs in 1955, Phala was a member of the Bayajula Arts Society from the mid to late 1970s, a community initiative that sought to uplift the position of art and culture in the townships. Phala also worked for the SABC for several years as a sound effects maker, and sporadically ventured into producing textiles and clothes. For the better part of the 90s he taught art to children in his garage, and only began practicing as a full time artist in 1998. Despite making a shift towards his own art practice, Phala never seemed to quite leave his role as an educator behind, evident in his recent appointment (on short term contract) by Iziko Museums’ Education division.A largely self-taught artist, Phala featured in the seminal Tributaries exhibition, curated by Ricky Burnett in 1985, and appeared in various ‘early’ texts on black South African art such as Matsemela Manaka’s Echoes of African Art (1987), Gavin Younge’s Art of the South African Townships (1988) and E de Jager’s Images of Man (1992. Associated with the Thupelo Workshop from its inception in 1985, Phala became resident at Greatmore Studios when he moved to Cape Town in 2004. He exhibited regularly in recent years, with most of these exhibitions being well received by the buying public. This year also marked his debut as an exhibitor at the Design Indaba in Cape Town. Phala was commissioned last year by The Sunday Times to commemorate the tragic sinking of the S.S. Mendi in 1917, when black South African soldiers who served in France went down in the English Channel.Perhaps Phala’s most endearing artistic contribution in recent years was his development and treatment of the theme of ‘herd-boys’. In these works Phala appears to have adapted the notion of herd-boys as traditional guardians of cattle (symbols of wealth, and the ‘African way’). He reinvented herd-boys as muses and playful guides for an ongoing series of reflections on cultural beliefs and traditional practices. Much of this work is extremely rich: it is as dreamlike, evocative, contemplative and spiritual as it is physical, tangible and tactile. His was a poetic and sensory art that explored cultural practices in a very personal way, with humour interceding in gentle ways, adding a warm glow to his creative interrogations of culture and identity.

Madi Phala has gone to join the ancestors. I think he would not have been offended if I were to ask: are they ready for him?


Rest In Peace

Rest In Peace
M Maluka, 04 March 2007

This is very sad news

This is very sad news
KekeTop, 04 March 2007

Madi Phala

I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Mr. Phala or knowing him, I am however saddened by his death. It highlights again the level of needless and senseless violence that accompanies petty crimes in SA. It’s not that there’s not the same level of crime in other countries (in some perhaps more), its just the manner in which human life seems to be so easily expendable. It scares the hell out of me. What has become of our humanity? There is hunger and poverty all over the world but that does not give any human being the excuse to exterminate another human being like a common roach. It really makes me so mad!!

May Madi Phala’s soul rest in perfect peace, and may the Lord grant his family, friends and colleagues the fortitude to bear the loss.
Ijeoma Uche-Okeke, 04 March 2007

M Phala

What an absolute needless tragedy! The best are going – have gone. ENOUGH!
Wilma Cruise, 04 March 2007

To Madi

Dear Madi,

I am deeply saddened at your untimely death. Your spirit was an inspiration to me, your laughter like the reflection of light on water.

May your art continue to speak for you, and so remain within our midst.

All my love,
Sonya Rademeyer, 04 March 2007

Re: Madi

I was so shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Madi. We met during the Sessions Ekapa and kept in touch periodically since then. Tears well up and feelings of anger collide with a sense of shock and sadness. When a society starts gnawing at its imaginary structure we are in deep trouble. Go well, Madi my friend. You will be missed.

Premesh Lalu, 04 March 2007

Madi Phala

Mario, thank you for the posting. News of Madi Phala’s death brings great sorrow here, across the Atlantic as well. To his family, friends and nearby colleagues I send my hearfelt sympathies. His spirit and love of life lives on in those he touched and the works that are his legacy.
J. McGee, 04 March 2007

an infectious laugh

Such an infectious laugh and smile – Madi was a hugely positive guy – especially about his neighbourhood and people around him – all the more cruel then, that this, should happen to him. Best wishes from the UK.
Andy Harper, 04 March 2007


I too met Madi at the sessions Ekapa and came to know and admire him and his work in all the forms it took. This is such a shock and senseless loss. Madi, your creativity, humanity and sensitivity will be deeply missed and the sadness that the news of your passing brings will no doubt hang over Cape Town much like your energy invigorated those of us who came into contact with you in this city.
Noeleen Murray, 04 March 2007


I met Madi during the Thupelo Workshop in Durban. We were planning an exhibition of his work here in Durban in early 2008!! I am shocked and so sad. I was so looking forward to getting to know him better. How many more need to die senselessly before something is done?
Karen Bradtke, 05 March 2007

His soul is in his paintings

Madi was a man of change and full of ideas, I learned a lot from him in a short time.
Sitting with a wise man is worth than reading numbers of books, so he was one of a kind. With his kind and cheerful face. My deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues.I will never forget him.
Teferi Gizachew, 05 March 2007

Madi Phala

I’m thankful I had the privilege of knowing you –
Yvette Dunn
, 05 March 2007

RIP Madi

I met and came to know Madi during a recent residency at Greatmore studios in late 2006. During that time he came to be a friend who “looked out” for me and took me under his wing. I will not forget a character whose warmth of spirit, infectious laugh and positive energy could change the atmosphere of any room he walked into.
His passing is a great loss for South Africa. He will be sorely missed. On that note, I wish to give my deepest condolences and sympathies to the friends, family and all those who knew this unique personality. It is a great tragedy.

Newell Harry, Sydney Australia
Newell Harry, 05 March 2007

Sleeping Herdboy

I intentionally went to Madi Phala’s site on Wednesday the 28th of Feb to check on his new work. I had met him once in CTown at Thupelo workshop in 2005. For some reason I thought of him and wanted to know what he has been up to this year. I am greatly saddened at the loss of such a creative soul. Rest in peace my brother.
Maggie Otieno, 05 March 2007


It is very sad indeed. Madi was a very good friend from the first moment at Thupelo Workshop in 2004. Great pity that I never had the opportunity of inviting you to Nigeria. Rest in Peace.
, 05 March 2007


I met Madi on 26 January 2007 (this year) at Guga S’thebe Arts and Culture Centre in Langa where he also worked. Its funny how you meet someone for the first time and manage to make a connection that makes you feel like you’ve known them forever. Because after my guests had long gone (I was hosting an event at the centre that weekend) I stayed and chatted to Madi for hours. What a loss! This guy was so wise, had so much intergrity and he was such a visionary. I was so excited and proud when I saw him exhibiting at the Design Indaba. We spoke about the fact that he wanted to explore his work on ‘mother’s looking for their children’ more and I was telling him how much I relate to the work. Eish, what a waste! Madi was one of those people that made me really proud. U robale hantle, Madi. What an ancestor you are going to make…
Ukhona Mlandu-Letsika
, 05 March 2007

Madi a shining light

Dear Madi,
From the moment I met you I adored you. Who could resist such a commanding presence ? A beautiful man with confident maturity, an extraordinarily happy artist, thrilled with your recent successs and new role as educator , it was a privilege to know you. But, alas too short.

On Thursday I saw you radiantly giving your first ever guided tour to an enchanted school group .
How is it possible that a huge presence and a visionary i could have his life snuffed out like that?
I know that many of us grieve for your lost life and the loss to your children and their mothers. I also know that many of us are fearful.
Go well Madi you will not be forgotten,.
Your friend and colleague


Iziko SA National Gallery, Cape Town.Carol Kaufmann, 05 March 2007

We will miss you, Madi

To have met Madi was to never forget him. I had the pleasure during the early days of the Thupelo workshops in Johannesburg and I was thrilled at his appointment in the Iziko Education and Public Programmes Department. I mourn his untimely and violent passing with my colleagues at Iziko South African National Gallery. Some met him only recently, but his enthusiasm, energy and excitement about his work here impressed everyone and the sense of loss is palpable. He loved the environment, which – as he said – opened up new avenues and possibilities for education and for his own work. Madi’s life has been extinguished, but he lives and shines through his work and in our hearts.Marilyn Martin, 05 March 2007

Watch over usOh how sad for us all – another beautiful, gentle soul lost when we really needed him in Cape Town. We will miss you, Madi.
J Ranson, 05 March 2007

A kernel of my research, for MadiHere I share a portion of my upcoming book (UMinn 2007)
in which Madi was the crux….It is my profound regret that Madi did not live to see this eulogy in print.In 1989, in a moving defense of what she called “Black Abstract Art,” against the contemporary writing of critics like Richards, Marilyn Martin pointed out that Gavin Younge neglected to comment on the work pictured above his own paragraphs on the Thupelo Project in Art of the South African Townships . The image was a mixed media work on canvas by Madi Phala that contained several stick figures and what appeared to be a hint of the corrugated metal wall of an urban slum shack. According to Martin, these figural elements, together with Phala’s title, These Guys Are Heavy, actually contradicted the thrust of Younge’s own argument about a non-referential, apolitical art emanating from the Thupelo workshops. I am inspired to expand upon Martin’s perceptive remarks on Madi Phala’s work. First, the title of the piece was a reference to the black American slang term, “heavy,” with its connotation of ponderous, serious, or deeply significant political or emotional implications as in the name of the 1990s rap group with a retro 1960s “Black Power” aesthetic: “The Brand New Heavies.” Martin’s essay cited other titles of abstract works by Phala, to strengthen her case that they held political implications: Garrison, and Adversity I.

Who are the figures in These Guys Are Heavy? Are they some township toughs, some youths, amatsosti, or Comrades, confronting the viewer with their crazed eyes, and meaning to make him or her a bit uneasy? Are they security police come to harass the youth? Are they political prisoners, sitting in their jail-box waiting? Planning their next revolutionary move?

If one were to study Madi Phala’s earlier graphic art, as published in the radical culture journal Staffrider, it becomes clear that his Thupelo Workshop-inspired paintings evolved from earlier figural work in what was locally referred to as an “African surrealist” mode. The style of this graphic work was similar to the early art of Thami Mnyele and to the mystical figural landscapes of Fikile Magadlela, both of whom were heavily involved with the Black Consciousness Movement during the 1970s. Madi Phala’s own drawings followed the example of these other artists, too, in his use of the theme of woman as a sign of the African soul, as something rooted in the soil and bursting under stress. An illustration of the popularity of this “Mother Africa” theme, and of its application among “BC”- oriented artists of the period, appeared in the March 1979 issue of Staffrider, in a poem titled, “Black Woman, Black Woman,” by Bonisile Joshua Motaung:Black woman, Black woman
Beautiful like sunset across the horizon,
With plaited hair and a face
Shining with vaseline, making her
More black in the night:
Her face wears the look of nature.
[. . .] Black woman, Black woman
She moves with the
Dignity of a funeral,
It is not tears
Shining in her eyes
But petals of blood
Mourning the history
Of her suffering:
Obituaries of her children
Deeply line her face
Leaving freckles to mark
Their graves.
[. . .]

This poem at first seems to so closely paraphrase “Femme Noire” (1945) by Léopold Senghor, that it might be considered an homage to the poet who was a cofounder of Négritude philosophy and a touchstone for the Black Consciousness Movement. Compare the final two stanzas of Senghor’s poem:

Femme nue, femme obscure
Huile que ne ride nul souffle, huile calme aux flancs de l’athlète, aux
flancs des princes du Mali
Gazelle aux attaches célestes, les perles sont étoiles sur
la nuit de ta peau
Délices des jeux de l’Esprit, les reflets de l’or ronge ta
peau qui se moire
A l’ombre de ta chevelure, s’éclaire mon angoisse aux
soleils prochains de tes yeux.

Femme nue, femme noire
Je chante ta beauté qui passe, forme que je fixe dans l’Eternel
Avant que le Destin jaloux ne te réduise en cendres pour
nourrir les racines de la vie.

Naked woman, dark woman
Oil no breeze can ripple, oil soothing the thighs
Of athletes and the thighs of the princes of Mali
Gazelle with celestial limbs, pearls are stars
Upon the night of your skin. Delight of the mind’s riddles,
The reflections of red gold from your shimmering skin
In the shade of your hair, my despair
Lightens in the close suns of your eyes.

Naked woman, black woman
I sing your passing beauty and fix it for all Eternity
before a jealous Fate reduces you to ashes to nourish the roots
of life.

“Femme Noire” was a statement, in verse, of the place of woman in Négritude philosophy. Senghor’s language reified black woman as the embodiment of sensuousness and as a place of comfort and warmth for men. In this poem, too, death was a metaphor for the entombment of Africa’s mythical past, as well as a source of sustenance for Africa’s future. Motaung’s description was more somber. For him the African woman suffered, she aged, and her tears bespoke the tragedy of the early death of her children. This perspective was shared among Black Consciousness writers in South Africa, most notably Mongane Wally Serote, whose poem “The Three Mothers,” began with the lines:
This the silence of our speedy uncurling youth-tangles
Forms folds, curves little surprised faces
That gape at our heritage,
Our age,
That grab son from mother like the cross did Jesus from Maria
The faces that have eyes that are tears
Tears from mothers,
This has left me so silent!

Through Motaung and Serote’s poetry, as well as that of other Black Consciousness writers, the rhythmic sensuousness of Senghor’s Négritude was translated into the cruel realism of the South African revolution. They described women’s hardship as much as their sensuality. Their women carried the most unbearable burden: the sacrifice of their children. Sections of Motaung’s poem also seem to have been a direct inspiration for Madi Phala’s images. Motaung’s lyric so closely approximated in word what Phala’s drawing achieved with line that it might as well have been an illustration of the drawing, or vise-versa. In addition to mirroring the poet’s theme of “Africa as a woman,” the images published by Phala in Staffrider also adapted and improved upon a theme then common among black South African artists: the black musician as a metaphorical sign of the condition of the race. Along these lines, it is noteworthy that the drawings that accompanied an article on Bob Marley, in the January 1981 issue of Staffrider, were credited not as “art” but as “Music by Madi Phala” (Figure 6.11). In each of two untitled graphite-on-paper drawings, a nude woman was illustrated playing an instrument similar to a saxophone or a bass clarinet. The figure’s beaded flesh seems to drip like sweat or blood from her ponderous breasts, her elbows, her mouth, and her bald head. She is completely covered with bubble-like spots, or freckles. Her fingers stick deep inside the instrument, which itself wraps around her body like a snake, and represents the horn’s music visually. The instrument and its player become soulfully one.

By moving beyond the quaint genre of street musicians associated with township art, Phala’s pictures extended the musical theme so that musicians could also be seen as interpreters of the crushing effects of apartheid on human bodies, and of an irrepressible desire for resistance. This perspective on the expressive and revolutionary role of the musician as a stand in for all types of artists can also be seen in the photograph of Abe Cindi by veteran Drum photographer Alf Kumalo, on the cover of Staffrider for February 1980 (Figure 6.12). The shirtless musician was photographed as he sprayed his horn defiantly in the face of the viewer. And there is the photo of jazz saxophonist from the 1950s Sophiatown era, Kippie Moeketsi, in the November 1981 Staffrider (Figure 6.13). The musician, whose tragic story was recalled on the pages that followed, stares intently at his own horn, as if wondering what kind of noise the thing is going to produce next. How will it speak for him? This photograph of “Kippie” was one of the images copied over into drawings by Thami Mnyele during the 1980s. Mnyele used it in a montage with photographs of the uprising in Soweto, and of Comrades in battle on the South African border.

Senghor, Motaung, Serote, Mnyele, Dumile, Kippie, Fikile, and Madi Phala. Why not call attention to connections made between these artists and between music, and the body in distress, and poetry? Why reduce the work of South African artists during the last decades of apartheid to a polemic distinction between abstract and figurative art, that only seeks to ask whether the one is more committed to the struggle than the other?

Moving beyond this boundary, it is possible to discern that there were also European art references in Phala’s image from Thupelo. Clearly the work owes a debt to Paul Klee, especially in its economical use of line to simply make figures out of sticks, thread, or squirts of paint direct from the tube. And its theme riffs off Picasso, especially the Picasso of Guernica and even more so the Three Musicians of 1921. These two are works from Picasso’s planar and colorful studies in Synthetic Cubism. In purely technical terms, Phala’s work is not Synthetic Cubism; its style is more a marriage of Klee’s spare technique with some Abstract Expressionist flourishes. But These Guys Are Heavy seems to jump off directly from several key aspects of Three Musicians: the flat frame with three men staring out flatly from it, the hatch marks indicating a beard, and the light square ground surrounded by a darker rectangular ground. The overall feel of the abstraction itself is more in line with Klee’s child-like glyph style, but the thematic influence here is certainly Picasso. Phala’s painting scat-sings over the form of a famous Picasso, itself an icon for all modernist painters, but that does not mean that Phala meant to depict the same thing as Picasso. There is also memory work in this piece: a memory of township art, the art of shacks and squalor. There is also a consciousness of protest art, with its titular hint, an evocation of heinous conditions and of their refusal through music. This is a tough mixture. The eye, if attentive to art and to history, is led from the discovery of the Picasso Three Musicians reference, to Phala’s earlier work on musicians, and back again.

Are Phala’s musicians swinging, bluesy, and heavy with political portent? Are they singing yakhal’inkomo, “the cry of cattle” at the slaughterhouse that could also be seen in Dumile’s tortured drawings, heard in Kippie’s jazz, and read in Wally Serote’s poems? Abdullah Ibrahim had already suggested the conflation of music and political protest at the Culture and Resistance Festival in 1982. If Ibrahim’s purely tonal piano music could have a revolutionary appeal, could not the abstraction of color and line in visual art do the same? Phala mined this golden vein in his painting. Seen in light of his earlier drawing, Phala’s painting seems to be searching for a further means to make the visual more musical. I read it as a kind of acid-dipped sheet music, wherein the body and the music and the visual sign are as one, and are heavy with radical political intention. These are some of the meanings of These Guys are Heavy.

John Peffer Copyright 2006
John Peffer, 05 March 2007

Madi Phala

Madi was such an beautiful human being, it is with great sadness that I receive this news, he always visited me at my shop and he always left a energy of inspiration and positivity. He left us a happy man I am sure, but I dont think he was finished with what he was busy with here. My deepest sympathy. What a great, great man. I will miss his visits and his smile and his voice. I feel angry for the way he left, he didn’t deserve to go like this.
Erick, 05 March 2007

Murder of Madi Another cultural hero has been stolen from us. They say the spirit of a nation shall be judged by its artists, through acts like this the soul of our nation is being robbed, raped and bludgeoned to death.

I wish there was more time
Sanet Visser, 05 March 2007
I wish there was more time to honor him as an artist. He was engaged and involved in his art and as an educator and artist always inspired me with his stories. To see him at Design Indaba and experience his excitement and his new designs will last forever in my mind. I wish that I was on his first tour at the National Gallery, I wish he could read what everybody writes about him, we only walk this road once in our life, let us reach out and touch somebody’s life like he did.Hazel Friedman, 05 March 2007

Madi, friend of my heart

… to meet you, to walk a distance together with you, talking, laughing, discussing, planning, inspiring each other – what a wonderful time this was … and even by email, over 10.000km this connection never ended … what’s now with your exhibition in Germany, the kids workshops and the idea of swap-working together again ?! you really leave me alone … not only me !
Madi, mad-I, wonderful, crazy, lovable person … Cape Town is different now, because it was both at once, meeting you and the mother-city … you showed me a lot about the way of living and thinking and history of South Africa, you made me understand your view to the world and your vision and optimism that things will become better …
Talking about “those old times in Jo’burg” you always called yourself a township-soldier who survived so many situations.War is still not over.
I am so sorry and sad, nothing will fill up the hole your senseless death brought into my world … you’re in my heart, my friend. MASEGO – as you always told me ! Gehe Deinen Weg in Schönheit und Frieden ! UTA from Aachen-Germany

Uta Göbel-Groß, 05 March 2007

Dear Madi

…things been hard since you left. Your’e in God’s hands now but I’m so scared about the future and don’t want to die all alone: you came through to visit and supported my career, sat down spoke deeply to me in words hard to put in writing. I looked up to you with pride as a brother able to humble himself down and part wisdom and support in so many ways.

Sharing the same platform at your last show was really an honour I will keep with the highest ideal. Thank you for showing me the way in this journey of life we all pilgrim through…

Rest in Peace Madi…
H.Bruce, 05 March 2007

Madi Phala

I’m very saddened by this news. I had occasion to spend time in a workshop here in Durban during 2006 and he was a great inspiration to me. May he rest in peace, and dance his dance of joy.
Terry-Anne Stevenson, 05 March 2007

great loss

I am so deeply saddened by the news and angry about how this could have happened.

South Africa is supposed to have the most “advance” constitution of the world, but in reality even the most basic human right -the right to live safely-is not protected!

I hope Mr President Mbeki has the wisdom to see that in order to promote the “African Renaissance”, one must protect the safety of the African equivalence of Da Vinci’s.
Kristin Hua Yang, 05 March 2007

Madi Phala

Madi was an inspiration to artists and had the courage to say and do what he thought was correct. He was a leading light at GreatMore studios and his influence will be greatly missed.
The South African art scene has lost a valuable member who had a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. Such a senseless act of violence will have a significant effect on the lives of many including those not actively pursuing a career as an artist.
Isky Gordon, 06 March 2007

CRIME that we know & live with

The crime that we know and live with has yet robbed us of our dearest friend.This was a very humbled,soft spoken, dedicated man who poured all his energies to his work.He loved doing what he did with all his heart ART. Lives in our townships are seen valueless & hence the CRIME that we know and live with will continue to tore our hearts & take our valuable, beloved ones.All my sympathies goes to the Phala family in Kwa Thema, Springs.I will miss those rainy Friday nights at your place listening to some Music and having cold one, till we meet agin.Terrible way for a person of your calibre to get recognition if he is ever gonna get any.

‘Robala ka kgotso Phala, Mmino wa molodi wa hao o tla o dula o lla ha monate.’
Gaoutwe Styles Mosala, 06 March 2007

I Missed Meeting You!

I’ve heard so much about this great Artist but it’s very unfortunate that I didn’t have a chance to meet him!

Rest in peace Madi
Mary Ogembo, 06 March 2007

Is it True?Madi Son of the soil.
I had a privilege meeting you in my life and what a great person. You will not only be missed by South Afrikans but all your friends around the world my dear Brother. Yet another son of the soil taken by the Criminals who no longer respect human life, its sad. We will all miss you and your smilling face will always reflect all your loving heart.

I am running out of words and your love for the development of art will be missed by many my dear brother. lots luv
Raphael chikukwa Chinovava, 06 March 2007

Madi PhalaI met Madi Phala at AVA at the opening of his exhibition in 2004. His charisma remains with me.
Malcolm Payne, 06 March 2007

Lala ngoXolo Madi

I read with shock the sudden death of Madi at the hands of crimininals who have no respect for sanctity of life. It was befitting for Madi to have been commissioned to do work on the sinking of the S.S. Mendi…with this let’s remember the last dance of the black heroes with Reverend Wauchope leading them on…..’ Ukuntsika kweMendi”
Ulale ngoXolo
Andile Magengelele, 06 March 2007

Madi, my Brother

What a great loss! We will remember your infectious laughter, sense of humour, your unique & colourful style of dressing. You were a very peace loving person who did not deserve such a violent death.

Madi, you were more than just a friend with whom we played football on the dusty streets of Kwa Thema as teenagers. You were more than a colleague in model design at the SABC. You were more than a colleague in art. You were a brother. You epitomized humanity. Your art will continue to truly represent you. Like the oils you used in your paintings, your memories will take long to dry & once they dry, they will not fade away.

Rest in peace Madi, the artist, designer, teacher, avid reader and once again, Brother. SAM NHLENGETHWA
Sam Nhlengethwa, 07 March 2007


I remember meeting you in 2005 in May when you were at bag factory as if it was a moment ago. We sat and talked about cattle like two herd boys from different tribes. shared their passion of cattle. I remember your laughter at my theories of lobola and cattle.

Such memorable laughter and smile you had. It would have been nice to meet you again.

May soul rest in peace.
Anawana Haloba
, 07 March 2007

To Madi Phala

“Death is not a journey to a strange country; it is a journey home. We are not going to a foreign country, but to our father’s house where we will be with our family and friends”.

Madi you’ve been with us when we lost our beloved sister last month, it is so sad now to say that about you. You’ve been a very good & kind family friend to us and, we will definitely miss that lovely smile of yours every time you enter our house and the twins will miss your sweets too.

Uhambe kakuhle, ulale ngoxolo, sohlala sikukhumbula Madi!
Bukelwa Soha, 07 March 2007

Robala ka Kgotso

Robala ka Kgotso Ta Madi, you’ll forever be remembered, Rest in Peace Son of the Soil.
Kgomotso Raborife, 07 March 2007

tragic and senseless

I had the privilege of meeting Madi Phala through Mario Pissarra, when I was in Cape Town very briefly in November of 2006. Our meeting is one I’m unlikely to forget. Such a tragic and senseless loss of life. My deepest and most sincere condolences to his family and close friends.
Eddie Chambers, 07 March 2007

Madi Phala

One abiding memory of Madi Phala is observing his encounter with a very young artist at an exhibition opening in Cape Town last year. The young artist recognised Madi, and came up to him somewhat awestruck, nervously trying to convey how much he admired his work. Madi responded with absolute humility, saying “YOU are an inspiration to ME.”

Peace, Madi. I look forward to meeting you again.
Matthew Cannon, 07 March 2007


Madi, I was going to write to you to tell you I miss you, but then I read the news that we will all be missing you for a very long time.

The memories of you dancing and laughing make me smile. The last time we spoke was such a short time ago and you were smiling like the sun; it was as if anything could flourish under the warmth and light you radiated…and still do.

Madi, I am glad to have met you and I am shocked and sad you are gone so soon. I send my thoughts and sympathies to the Phala family.
Maryalice Walker, Maine, USA, 07 March 2007

Bra Madi

I have no words to express the state I’m undergoing. Such realities in our society are inconceivable to imagine. It is in such times that one’s presence become apparent in the case of one’s absence. I remain grateful to have had an opportunity to exchange ideas and receive professional advice from ‘Bra Madi’. The warmth and love of your fellow artists you had at all times. Your presence will remain with all those you came across. Lala ngoxolo Madi Phala.
Loyiso Qanya, 07 March 2007

Aluhlanga lungehlanga

Madi mfowethu ulale ngoxolo.
Velile Soha, 08 March 2007

Madi Phala

I am shocked to hear how someone who seems so alive in my memory is no longer around. I am in cold and gloomy London, but am taken back to my memory of speaking with Madi on a sunny day in Cape Town and his warmth and enthusiasm that still seems so present. There is no excuse for a needless death but the least one can do is try to enable life to continue the way the person who left it would want us to.
Jade Gibson, 08 March 2007


What a tragedy. Wonderful to have met and worked with
such a charismatic and talented man. Pse forward my condolences to
the studio and family.

Ros Lurie, 09 March 2007


Lala ngoxolo Madi, You’re a great inspiration to many , young and old. Am thnkful that I got the chance to be arround you even if it was for a short time.Your star will forever shine
Zipho, 09 March 2007


I was very suprised to hear about Madi’s death because the way I saw him he was a good person. I don’t know why some people can do bad things like this.
I met him on the 28/02/07 at the gallery but to what I saw HE WAS A DARLING.
May the good lord be with his family in this time. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE!
Obedience Motlhanke @ CPUT BELLVILLE CAMPUS, 09 March 2007

You made such an impression

Dear Madi

You made such an impression on me.

I met you in the week preceeding the opening of parliament at the National Gallery. You came in to visit a calligraphy workshop several times. Your infectious laugh, love of life, life philosophy and your hair were just fabulous. We had a good laugh about how you had put up your hair and how incredible it looked. We talked about happiness and about life and you made such an impression on me – I will not forget you.

Rest in peace. I am sure you will walk with us as an angel. Know that you have touched so many hearts …
Leesette, 12 March 2007

A Kings child

“A King’s child” Madi said to Reason and I when we briefly spoke at the iLetters workshop. My aching heart finds comfort in his answer.

Dit is ons kalligrawe se gebed dat God elkeen wat treur met Sy Liefdeskombers sal vertroos.
Heleen de Haas, 13 March 2007

Madi Phala

I never had the opportunity cross paths twith the well-known and celebrated Madi Phala, but have heard so much rich and joyful things about him that it was quite a shock for me…However, I have the pleasure of sharing a history with one of his children who, to me, is a direct image in art and character as his father. Although Madi is gone, I know that his spirit is living through the hearts and lives of his children…Madi, I know that I have not met you, but I do know that we would have chatted about life and art (in all its spheres) till the sun would rise…Rest in Peace
Anon, 14 March 2007

Its a shame

The news of the death of Madi Phala came to me with great shock. He was made of so much energy and humour, intelligent and vibrant. The international art community will miss his creativity and friendship. Its a pity he had to go in such a brutal way.
We will all miss you Madi.
My sincere sympathy to the greatmore community, his family and friends. may his soul rest in Eternal peace.
Anon, 15 March 2007

Madi Phala

If you were a star
we would hate to see sunlight.

but then again what is life without sunshine

may your brightness dazzle us
may our rainbow’s colours be richer.

may the tears of your kith and kin be wiped by the HEAVENS ANGELS and their smiles be restored because you were one of a kind and with that they and all of us can walk tall and proud;

because in you, with you, around you, about you our humaneness was defined.

Anon, 20 March 2007

gentle mentor

Madi was the first artist that I ever collaborated with on a show called Exfoliate, curated by Norman O’Flynn in 2003. I can’t remember how I ended up being paired up with Madi, but I do remember a man that was full of grace, stories and passion. We both loved paper, but he taught me extremes that paper and collage could be taken to, with me definitely in his shadow. He welcomed me as a visitor to Greatmore and guided my students where I fell short. He was our Mentor. Most of all in collaboration he awakened the practicing artist in me that had been lost in so much theory. Thus dawned a beginning for me, which I will always remember.
I’ll rememeber the last I saw you, your intrigued smile at my show in January, I’ll remember your art, burned into my memory.
What a pity to have to say good bye.

, 01 April 2007

Madi Phala

I’m mainly shamefully ignorant about our black artists but I’m trying to catch up and educate myself …… I’d never heard of Madi Phala, but his beautiful face stopped me in my tracks, and the story of his senseless death broke my heart. My deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends. I will catch up now Madi, and learn more about you – thank you for leaving us your beautiful work.
Elaine Hurford, 10 April 2007


I wonder where are those killers because I was a student to Madi Phala. Artists they die like nothing. May Madi’s soul rest in peace.
Tshepo Senyeho, artist from Kwa Thema, 15 May 2007

Unbelievable!!!! RIP

I am extremely devasted by Madi’s passing. Who could do such a mean thing to the world? I vivsted Madi Phala while i was doing my study tours of South Africa. I once spent a week at his house in Langa, Cape Town! May the GOOD MAKER rest him in eternal peace. Collin
Collin Sekajugo, 01 December 2007

RIP Madi

Madi’s works rocked my heart! I first met during an international artists workshop in Lusaka Zambia. I pray that his inspirational works continue to impact positively on other people’s lives.
Rest in Peace. Collin Sekajugo, Kampala, Uganda
Collin Sekajugo, 01 December 2007

Thank you!

The bewildering talent, vision and style of an artist like Madi… will never die! May his soul fare and excel as well on “the other side” as his creative physical did on this one…thank you for what you left us with, my friend – boundless inspiration!!!
Courtney Anthony Forbes, 11 December 2007

Madi Phala

It is exactly two years since your death Madi but your’e always remembered, loved, missed by your friends, colleagues and family. I always think of the past where we used to enjoy together with your fellow friends the late Nhlanhla Xaba and Sam Nhlengethwa. May your soul rest in peace.
Your brother Teboho Xaba.

Teboho Xaba, 14 May 2009

Madi Phala

Madi, did not know you. Could not because our paths were thousands of miles away from each other. However, in spirit were knew each other. We are Africans.

I contemplate the waste that took your life – and the lives of so many others – before our time and now in our own time. It troubles my soul.

In the past, others did it to us. A few who cared for humanity protested. Our people fought with their blood.

Today we seem to be doing it all to ourselves. We should all be outraged. Beyond outrage we should all be doing something to stop the blight of violence. We do not have replacement for the Madis of our world.
Nativeson, 04 September 2009

Rest in peace My Brother.Sohla sikukhumbula

i remember Madi making his trips to my granny’s house to see my uncle how is also an artist,sohlala sikukhumbula
lorraine plaatjies, 02 March 2010


… 3 years ago our talking stopped … the conversation is not over … it takes place here and there in my life and in my art … you are remembered, still here, with your art, your laughter, your spirit … I will come back to CT soon – and meet you here and there wihin the remembrances of friends and artist-colleagues … still miss you … with a SMILE …
UTA Göbel-Groß, 13 April 2010

Artworks Looks at Traditions of Past & Present Melvyn Minnar, Businessday September 2007

Madi Phala: The herd boy artist in his prime Chris Barron The Sunday Times 11 March 2007
Langa Artist brutally murdered.Jazz Concert to Honour His Name Tarzan Mbita

Phala se dood ruk kunsgemeenskap Liza Grobler, Die Burger

Arts community mourns tragic loss of Phala Melvyn Minnaar, Cape Times March 8 2007

Madi Phala: Obituary Cape Times 8 March 2007

Artist stabbled to death Thulani Magazi, Vukani 8 March 2007

Tin Hats

Honouring the brave

Local artists shine Melvyn Minnar 2005

Bayjula.By the People for the People

Art Education

Arts and crafts, Tlakula High School, Springs.

Solo Exhibitions (South Africa)

2007: Madi Phala: A Tribute Exhibition, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2005: Herdbooyz, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2005: Exhibition, Bag Factory, Johannesburg.
2004: Exhibition (mixed media collage and found object constructions), Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2005: Madi Phala & Nkoali Nawa, Claremont Renault Showroom, Cape Town.
2005: Encompass, Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
2004: 10 years of Democracy Renaissance, (project with Truworths, Hardground, BASA, Sanlam), Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
2004: Three man show, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
1992: Three Man Show, Fedreated Union of Black Artists (FUBA) Gallery, Johannesburg.
1985: Tributaries: a view of contemporary South African art, fka Africana Museum (now Museum Africa), Johannesburg.
1982: Exhibition, Shell House, Johannesburg.
1982: Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.
1979: Exhibition, Germiston Town Council, Germiston.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2005: SADC Artists, Thapong, Gaborone.
Phala was also part of a group show in France that served as a benefit for Gerard Sekoto.

Workshops & Residencies

2005: Studio Residency, Bag Factory, Johannesburg.
2004 - 2007: Studio Residency, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
1992: Triangle Workshop (with Triangle Network), United States.
1985 - 1992: Thupelo Workshops, South Africa.


French Embassy, South Africa.
De Beers, London.
Phala's work is also included in several private collections including those of former minister Pallo Jordan and art historian Barbara Lindop.


2004, 2005, 2005, 2006: Mario Pissarra, Botaki catalogues, Exhibitions 1 – 4, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
1992: E.J De Jager, Images of Man: Contemporary South African Black Art and Artists, East London: Fort Hare University Press.
1988: Gavin Younge, Art of the South African Townships, University of Michigan: Random House Incorporated.
1987: Matsemela Manaka, Echoes of African Art: A Century of Art in South Africa, Johannesburg: Skotaville Publishers.
1985: Ricky Burnett, Tributaries: A View of Contemporary South African Art, Johannesburg: BMW Kulturprogramm.

Madi Phala was also published in Staffrider numerous times.


1984: Jazz Art Poetry Appreciation Award.


Member, Bayajula Arts Society (1975 - 1979).
Worked for SABC as a sound effects maker.
Founder, Arts Enhancement Programme. In this role, Madi Phala taught children art in his garage from 1992 - 1998. Amongst those he is credited with mentoring is the late Nhlanhla Xaba.
Timothy Mafenuka

Timothy Mafenuka

Timothy Mafenuka (1966-2003) was born in Guguletu but raised in Tsomo in the Eastern Cape. He returned to live in Cape Town in 1982, settling soon after in Khayelitsha. Self-taught, Mafenuka’s imaginative art provides an enchanted view of the natural world, expressed through a creative use of materials.


Self taught. Informally mentored by Xolile Mtakatya.
Several regional Thupelo Artists Workshops.

Exhibitions (solo)

2003 ‘Miracle of the Universe’, Greatmore Studios, Woodstock, Cape Town.
2003 DC Art, Cape Town
1992 Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Exhibitions (group)

2007 Exhibition #1. Gill Alderman Gallery, Kenilworth.
2007 Exhibition to accompany international conference of Jungian psychologists, Cape Town International Conference Centre. Curated by Josie Grinrod and Kate Gottgens.
2004 ‘Botaki’, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Pinelands, Cape Town.
2001 ‘Imbizo-Gathering’, AVA, Cape Town.
2001 ‘Homecoming’, Gug’Sthebe, Langa, Cape Town.
2001 Alfred Mall Gallery, Waterfront, Cape Town.
1997 St. Stephen Church, Riebeeck Square, Cape Town.
1993 ‘Made in Wood: Work from the Western Cape’, South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
1992 Visual Arts Group, Mayibuye Centre, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa;
1992 Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town.
1992 30 Sculptors from the Western Cape, US Gallery


South African National Gallery; numerous private collections in South Africa and abroad.




2013 Mario Pissarra, 'Against the Grain’, Cape Town : Africa South Art Initiative.
2004 Mario Pissarra, ‘Botaki: Conversations with Timothy Mafenuka’, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2003 Martin, Proud et al (1993); Big Issue
1993 Martin, Marilyn; Proud, Hayden; et al, ‘Made in Wood: Work from the Western Cape’, South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Miracle of the Universe

© Mario Pissarra, 1/12/2005

Miracle of the Universe in the context of African sculpture

It is widely believed that South Africa and most of its neighbors have little of a wood sculpture “tradition” to compare in quality and interest with the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed it was only after the landmark exhibition “Tributaries” that South African wood sculptors really registered on the map. However while Tributaries redrew the boundaries for “sub-Saharan wood sculpture” it inadvertently created the impression that wood sculpture in South Africa was largely an isolated pocket of cultural expression (i.e. a phenomenon that, to the layperson, was defined ethnically and geographically as “Venda wood sculpture”).

There have been sporadic attempts to balance this position, by for example exhibitions at the SANG (Made in Wood: Work from the Western Cape) and in KZN (at DAG & the African Art Centre). However these efforts can be considered only moderately successful, in so far as some of South Africa’s finest wood sculptors continue to languish in the margins, while all of the wood sculptors represented in Tributaries have gone on to enjoy considerable opportunity and success. [1]

Miracle of the Universe in the context of the life and art of Timothy Mafenuka (1966-2003)

Born in Guguletu, Mafenuka spent much of his childhood in the rural village of Tsomo in the Eastern Cape where as a herd boy he carved wooden sticks and spoons. After completing his schooling he moved back to Cape Town (c.1982) to look for work. He worked as a fisherman in Namibia and the Eastern Cape, and as a chef at the Cape Sun. In Khayelitsha he came into contact with other local artists, notably Xolile Mtakatya, and by the early 90s he was working as a full-time artist. In the 90s he participated in several group exhibitions, including those of the Visual Arts Group. No less than five of his early works were selected by the SANG for its Made in Wood exhibition in 1992, and one was purchased for their permanent collection. A genuinely self-taught artist, Mafenuka’s qualities were recognised by the Thupelo Workshop who invited him to attend several regional workshops and one international one.

A dapper dresser with trademark pipe and brimmed hat, Mafenuka’s art differed from most of his contemporaries in that he used unorthodox materials that he often combined with wood (including shells, glass, sand, and rubber). However it was not only his lack of exposure to art education from NGO’s such as CAP, and his choice of materials that set him apart from of his contemporaries. Enchanted by the twin joys of life and the act of creation Mafenuka avoided the dominant themes of poverty and protest. In their place he developed a magical world of the imagination, ably expressed through his evocative imagery, striking use of materials, and (particularly in his prints and paintings) a vibrant use of colour.

As enterprising as he was innovative and resourceful Mafenuka’s lyrical mono-prints and smaller sculptures can still be found in small galleries across the Cape. He was also one of the few “St Georges Mall artists” who took a small shop for himself at the Pan-African Market. In recent years he held two solo shows, unfortunately both at low-key venues (DC Art, Cape Town; and according to his family another in Pietermaritzburg). When he fell ill last year a retrospective exhibition was organised on his behalf at Greatmore Studios.

Mafenuka’s crowning achievement as an artist has never been seen by a wide audience. His forte was wood sculpture, and c. 1992 he produced his first large totemic sculpture. In total he made only six of these. Three of them were bought by private collectors (from the UK, Japan, and Cyprus). Three remain in the collection of the family. The most ambitious of these is “Miracle of the Universe” which stands at over eight feet tall. That he knew he had created something special is not only evident in the title, but also in the fact that his signature appears no less than three times on the work!

Mario Pissarra 16 February 2004

Originally written as a motivation for the purchase of Miracle of the Universe by the South African National Gallery. The motivation was successful.

[1] With the tragic exception of Nelson Mukhuba


Sonya Rademeyer

b. 1964, Zimbabwe; Lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Sonya Rademeyer explores the relationship between bodily empathy and vision through her use of non-traditional materials and video.

Arts Education

1996: Bachelor of Art (BA), Fine Art, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam.

Solo Exhibitions (South Africa)

2019: All we need is a Conductor, North-West University Aardklop National Festival, North-West Province.
2019: The In-Between, Association of Visual Arts (AVA0 Gallery, Cape Town.
2011: Looking to See, Association of Visual Arts (AVA0 Gallery, Cape Town.
2009: not in a body of words, GUS Gallery, Stellenbosch.
2008: I am an African, Blank Projects, Cape Town.
2007: Babble, Association of Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, Cape Town.
2005: Origin, Art-B Gallery, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2020: Art in Isolation, Imibala Gallery, Graaff-Reinet; Imibala Gallery, Somerset West.
2020: Virtual National Arts Festival, curated show and Fringe, Makhanda.
2019: Miss/Seen, Vrystaat Arts Festival, Bloemfontein.
2019: Dwell in Possibility, Centenary Art Gallery University of the Free State, Bloemfontein.
2019: Memory & Mapping FreeSpace, Zeitz Mocca, Cape Town.
2019: Admin, UNTITLED, Cape Town.
2019: #unfinished Vol 7, Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town.
2018: Forward? Forward! Forward… Stellenbosch University Museum, Stellenbosch.
2018: Humanity: Friend or Foe, Youngblood Africa Gallery, Cape Town.
2018: OPENLab 2018, University of the Free State, Richmond.
2018: Tankwa Artscape, Northern Cape.
2016: Stories of Rain, AVA Gallery, Cape Town.
2015: Workshops’ Showcase, Warren Editions, Cape Town.
2015: SILENCE: Artworks on Paper, Cape Town.
2014: Joburg Fringe, Aerial Empire, Johannesburg.
2012: Appeal, Guerilla Gallery, Johannesburg.
2010: Mother Nature: Art and Psychology in Conversation, Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch.
2009: Ceramics Exhibition, William Humphrey Art Gallery, Kimberley.
2007: Flesh, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefes, Oudtshoorn; X-Cape 07, Cape Town; National Arts Festival, Grahamstown;Cultivaria Festival, Paarl.
2006: Dept of Science & Technology National Art Competition, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town.
2005: Vuleka, Art-B Gallery, Cape Town.
2005: Brett Kebble Art Awards, Cape Town.
2004: Exfoliate, Art-B Gallery, Cape Town.
2004: Vuleka, Art-B Gallery, Cape Town
2003: AVA Members' Exhibition, Asoociation for Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery.
2003: Brett Kebble Art Awards, Cape Town.
2003: Vuleka, Art-B Gallery, Cape Town.
2003: PPC Young Sculptors Awards, Pretoria, South Africa.
2001: Women's Work, Cape Town.
1998: Unity in Diversity Arts Festival, Good Hope Gallery, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (international)

2020: hello world, TransCulturalExchange (online), Boston.
2019: Contemporary Nature, Tankwa Artscape Residency Exhibition, Sfintu Gheorghe.
2019: Live drawing performance, Stroud Green Festival, London.
2018: OtherLands. OtherSounds, Raizvanguarda, Bordeiro.
2016: 15th Lessandra World Art Print Annual, Sophia.
2013: Happening Now, Mojo Gallery, Dubai.
2009: Tape exhibition, Arnhem, Netherlands
2009: 1st International Art & Science Festival, Patra.
2009: International Incheon Women Artistsâ Biennale, Korea.
2009: One World, Many Papers, Distillery Gallery, Boston.
2008: Dwayer, L'Atelier Dâ Alexandrie, Alexandria.
2008: Dak'Art, Dakar.
2007: Cent livre Objects pour Senghor, Maison de la Culture Douta Seck, Dakar.
2006 - 2007: Self Portrait - A Show for Bethlehem, Al Kahf Gallery, Palestine; Oficyna Art Space, Szezecin; International Contemporary Art Center, Naples; Museum of Contemporary Art Rosario, Rosario; Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Fe, Santa Fe.
2007: Fleiss East West Artists, Muzeul de Art, Satu Mare.
2006: The Abstract Mind Mural of Science & Industry, Chicago.
2006: Too much Freedom? Freewaves, 10th Biennale Festival of Film, Video and Experimental Media, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
2006: Ecartista 1st Annual Exhibition (online), Egypt.
2005: Imagining the Book, International Biennale, Alexandria.
2005: New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, New York.
2005: A Cross Cultural View of Women in the Arts, Also Castillo Gallery, Chicago.
2005: Art at War Exhibition, Aldo Castillo Gallery, Chicago.


Private collections:
South Africa, United Kingdom, Egypt

Public collections:
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria.
Department of Science & Technology, South Africa.
International Contemporary Art Centre, Naples.


2007: Distinction, 3rd Edition International Artistic Documentaries.
2004: Winner, New Media, Vuleka, Art-B Gallery, Cape Town.
2003: Merit Award, PPC Young Sculptor Award.

Randolph Hartzenberg

b. 1948, Cape Town, South Africa; lives in Cape Town.

In painting, installation and performance, Randolph Hartzenberg produces quiet, seemingly un-obtrusive works that gradually reveal a great depth of symbolic content. Hartzenberg’s deliberate use of normal objects acts as the surface of his practice of thoughtful political and conceptual engagement, exploring questions of power, labour and race within South African society.