4 X 4

Four solo shows by four young artists

This exhibition is the second in the Young Artists’ Project this year.  The concept of YAP was first realised at KZNSA in 2002 and many of the artists who participated then have now become international figures.

The title, 4 x 4, alludes to the format where four young artists each show a solo exhibition. The exhibitions are separate and yet invite us on a journey of contemporary art by young creators who, like a 4 x 4 vehicle, are going places and taking us into their conceptual territories.

The fact that this exhibition occurred during the time of the COVID-19 crisis makes the themes of the exhibitions more pertinent. The crisis has made us realise that art and life will change and that things will never be the same. The four themes are Love, Home and Safety, Identity, Tradition and the Environment.

The artists are all below the age of 35 and their concerns are topical and relevant to the socio- political environment in which we live. Due to current circumstances we will look upon these works in different ways and hopefully be reminded of what is important in our lives.

The YAP process provides mentorship to two emerging curators, Yasmien Mackay and Kenneth Shandu who are being led by Carol Brown, an established curator.

The selected artists are Vuyolwethu Ndakisa, Kundai Moyo, Jessica Bothma and Lindani Nyandeni.

In her exhibition Figures of Love, Kundai Moyo sets out to explore the different manifestations of love in action through photography, video and text. In its attempts to unpack the nature of intimate human relations, the work begins to ask how love can become the vehicle for navigating our anxieties, social dynamics and economic realities.

Vuyolwethu Ndakisa’s exhibition Siyaqhuba is concerned with the everyday life of South African women and the home. She is interested in everyday objects and their underlying meaning, and uses fabric and stitching as well as sculpture and photography as mediums. Much of the work is text based and will be presented as an installation referencing significant rituals.

Jess Bothma is a sculptor and poet who will show a body of work that reflects on the multi-layered landscape of South Africa. Titled Passing Through, Bothma will present drawings, sculptures and installations that celebrate making, and investigate the historical and contemporary environment she finds herself in.

Lindani Nyandeni is a painter whose recent work is a breakthrough in scale and content. Nyandeni draws upon his own history as a young man who grew up without a mother. His current bold portraits are a manifestation of a recent personal epiphany that has inspired him to share his new awakening in an exhibition titled uBonakele.

Imagine that you are writing an article for publication in a newspaper. You have been to the KZNSA Gallery and you are writing about one of the artworks you have seen. Write a critique in which you describe the painting, interpret it, and evaluate it.



Make a list of all the things you see, for example: is it a painting or sculpture or other | what or who is the subject | the background of the picture | other objects that appear | how large or small the artwork is | the style in which the artist has worked



Go through the points listed when describing your image, and consider what each point could mean. For example, what could the objects within the frame symbolize or stand for? What can you determine about historical and cultural context, about the artist’s interests and abilities?



In your opinion, is the piece a good work of art? What makes it so – technical skill or a strong concept? Describe what you think makes the artwork successful or not.


Look at Minenhle Nxele’s object portraits and imagine creating your own object self-portrait. How would you define your identity?

To begin, choose any of the identities that could finish the sentence “I am a _____________.”

learner | son/daughter | sister/brother | pet-owner | athlete artist

Are there other identities that are a part of who you are, but aren’t listed above?


Next, complete this sentence:

I am a future_____________(career) from_____________(city or province) and my family is from ___________________ (heritage).


Now, think of objects that are related to your answers above. Pick your top five identities and brainstorm objects that are relevant to them, using prompts like wears, uses, makes and seems like to help

Example: Student

I am a student. A student wears a school uniform, uses pencils and workbooks, seems like a blank book ready for words.


Create a composition with the objects you have chosen and photograph it to create your very own object portrait!

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