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Sunday, August 28, 2022


(Above: "The Harvest” (detail). Oil painting, red clay, impepho, holy ash on canvas by Selloane Moeti)

Opening on September 1, the KZNSA will host Transience, a group exhibition with Selloane Moeti, Karla Nixon, Jessica Bothma and Siobahn Doughty.

The exhibition is a physical realisation of a virtual presentation by KZNSA on Latitudes Online, and includes paintings and sculptural installations threaded together with drawings to form a richly-textured and tactile whole.

The four artists selected are Durban based, each with growing recognition and acclaim within KZN and nationally for their practice.

The works resonate with a solidarity and shared ownership of femininity in a South African context. Each of the four artists, using a visual language unique to their practice, probes notions of identity, gender and power with an inherent awareness of the complex vulnerabilities that are an inextricable part of such an investigation.

For the artists, the studio is a place of sanctuary – almost sacred; space in which creative processes make sense of life chaos. Mark by mark, a unique and intensely personal language emerges and a visual articulation is rendered – fleeting and transient, an emotion or a moment briefly held to the light and examined before it shifts and changes form. The creative process, which is often meditative, informs a visceral materiality in the resultant works; the works are tactile and sculptural, inviting a closer reading to appreciate every considered detail.

At first glance, the array of pinks and soft, pensive pastels discernible across the curation allude to a youthful girlishness – trembling, fragile and endearingly feminine. This is pronounced in Doughty’s work; dainty laces and tulles, tenderly hand-embroidered. But the subject matter described in these delicate materials is unapologetic, unflinching. Exploring concepts of femininity in relation to shame, violence, gender stereotypes and feminine solidarity, the cotton candy-toned materials reveal a steely core as Doughty addresses injustices posed against feminine identifying individuals.

This steeliness is echoed in Bothma’s work. The taxi slogan illustrations are bold and punchy, sassy and loud; here is the woman of the world, on the move, street-smart and savvy. Contrastingly, there is also a moment of soft vulnerability in Bothma’s steel-wrought figure hugging herself close. Bothma is drawn to the malleability of steel, finding in the metal a remarkable resonance with the human condition; in skilled hands, steel can be manipulated to appear fragile and delicate or contrastingly strong and old.

In Moeti’s paintings, the spiritual enters. Transcendent, the paintings evoke an otherworldliness, inviting the viewer into mystical realms heavy with incense, a place where the senses are at once muted and alive. From this intoxicating dreamscape, Nixon’s paper sculptures are a window into yet another world, the bold graphic forms compelling and dynamic, but at the same time impossibly fragile – pieces of paper fluttering wistfully as the artist delves into ideas around the relentless mortal need to find and define our own space and place; sanctuaries amidst the transience of life.

Piecing together transient processes and practices, the body of works presented invite the viewer to share an intimate moment of vulnerability and engagement with the artists within the inner sanctum of their private world.

Transience runs until September 18, 2022, in the KZNSA Park Gallery.

The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1705 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit