Celebrating 40 years, the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards have become a barometer of South Africa’s extraordinary creative talent. The six winners of this prestigious award will no doubt in years to come be added to the long list of acclaimed alumni.
This year’s winner of the Visual Arts award, Buhlebezwe Siwani, is highly praised for the versatility displayed in her contemporary work across mediums such as film, photography, performance, sculpture and installation. She completed postgraduate degrees at the Wits School of Arts and the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at UCT and following residencies in France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, her work has been exhibited from Europe to Asia and Australasia to America.
Thematically, Siwani’s work interrogates the patriarchal framing of the black female body and black female experience within the South African context. As an initiated sangoma, Siwani has also used her artistic practice to delve into religious subjects and the often-perplexing relationship between Christianity and African spirituality.