South African artist praised at the 2014 Dakar Biennale

1 Sep 2014 - 14:00

Pictured left: 'Umasifanisane'  from the 'Self-Portrait project' 

Dr. Nomusa Makhubu participated in the 2014 Dakar Biennale or Dak’Art where she was awarded the Le Fresnoy prize in the international exhibition category. The award is a residency at Le Fresnoy: Studio National Des Arts Contemporain in Tourcoing, France. Dr. Makhubu is a lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at the Michaelis School of Fine Art.

Established in 1992, the Dakar Biennale, or Dak'Art - Biennale de l'Art Africain Contemporain, is an important Contemporary Art exhibition that takes place every two years in Dakar, Senegal. The event attracts talented artists and visual art professionals from across Africa and abroad. Dak’Art comprises meetings, presentations, exhibitions, multimedia and even fashion shows, all designed to showcase Contemporary African Art on a bigger world stage. Dak'Art's focus has been on Contemporary African Art since 1996. 

62 artists were selected to participate in Dak'Art 2014, with just three representing South Africa – Dr. Nomusa Makhubu (Michaelis School of Fine Art), Candice Breitz and Keira Kemper. Dak'Art was divided into two programmes: the ON programme and the OFF programme. The latter consisted of exhibitions in and around Dakar sponsored by various organisations or led independently by galleries. The ON programme comprised the international exhibition entitled "Producing the Common", the Guest Artists Exhibition and the Conference sponsored by the Senegalese government in collaboration with partners of the Dak'Art Biennale. 

For Dr. Makhubu, the most exciting aspect of the event this year was the opportunity to be part of a community of internationally renowned African artists. “The curators were incredibly benevolent and artists supported each other in getting the work up and ready for the opening. I cherish the sense of community Dak'Art created. Being awarded the Fresnoy Prize is excellent for the profile of this particular series of photographs. It is exciting that I will get an opportunity to develop my work further ” says Dr. Makhubu. The talented photographic artist and UCT lecturer says that she draws a great deal of her inspiration from her young daughter named Lerato. Although the details of her residency, including its duration, are currently being finalized, she is excited about the prospects that lie ahead and is ready to begin a new chapter in her artistic development. Prior to joining UCT, Makhubu taught at Rhodes University from 2008 - 2013. She has been a lecturer at Michaelis since January 2014 and is confident that the experience will not only benefit her work but will also enrich the level of academic supervision that she provides to students at the University of Cape Town. 

“Fresnoy encourages interdisciplinary research in creative practice. This is something I am trying to incorporate in what I teach and in how approach my creative projects” says Makhubu.