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Local artists showcase their artwork to the world

Johannesburg-based visual artist Phumulani Ntuli is headed Biennale Arte 2022 to showcase his work.
Johannesburg-based visual artist Phumulani Ntuli is headed Biennale Arte 2022 to showcase his work.
Image: Phumulani Ntuli.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) has named three local artists whose artworks will be showcased during Biennale Arte 2022.

The festival, which is often described as the Olympics of the art world, will be held in Venice, Italy, from 23 April to 27 November 2022.

This year’s festival theme is ‘The Milk of Dreams’.

Johannesburg-based visual artist Phumulani Ntuli, photographer Roger Ballen and visual artist and photographer Lebohang Kganye will exhibit  their respective creations – Godide, Theatre of the Apparitions, and B(l)ack to Fairy Tale – at the South African pavilion, which has been sub-themed ‘Into the Light’.

According to the department, the theme reflects the richness of creative expression that is unlocked when the artist combines fantasy and re-imagination into their self-identity.

“For his Theatre of the Apparitions showcase, Ballen developed his own technique, coating glass in special paints, etching off the coating and backlighting the glass. Kganye photographed herself autobiographically as the protagonist in westernised fairy tales,” says the department.

Ntuli’s work utilises stop-motion animation.

Stop motion is an animated filmmaking technique in which objects are manipulated.

Since 2011, the department has been providing monetary sponsorship to the participating artists. This is part of the department's mandate to provide market access to artists, says DSAC Director-General Vusumuzi Mkhize.

Reaching greater heights

Johannesburg-based Ntuli (35) holds a Masters in fine arts from Ecole Cantonale D’Art du Valais in Switzerland.

He says the festival is an opportunity for him to engage with a diverse international art community that includes collectors, art institutions, galleries and the general public.

Ntuli adds that it is also a chance to share both old and current South African art, narratives and history with others.

The backing of the department has allowed him to expand the scope of his work, he says. “I have been planning to expand as an art entrepreneur and have been unable to do this in my own capacity. With the assistance of the department, such business endeavours are now possible,” adds Ntuli.

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.