The 2016 Cassirer Welz Award Winner


The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in partnership with Strauss & Co, the Everard Read Gallery are excited to announce the 2016 Cassirer Welz Award Winner: Nomphumelelo Ngoma

Nompumelelo Ngoma was born in 1984 in Soweto and still resides there. She studied Visual Art at the South Western College in Soweto and finished an N4 course in 2005. In 2008 she graduated with a certificate in professional printmaking from Artist Proof Studio where she was awarded a bursary by Linda Givon to further her studies. She graduated with a BTech in Visual Art from the University of Johannesburg in 2013. She currently works as an independent artist.

As the winner of the Cassirer Welz Award, Nomphumelelo Ngoma will receive a residency at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Johannesburg and the opportunity to exhibit the new work created during this period at the Everard Read Gallery on Thursday 4 February as part of First Thursdays. During Nomphumelelo’s 11 week residency at the Bag Factory she will receive mentorship from the previous award winners and the other established artists based at the studio. The residency also provides the opportunity to meet and network with artists, gallerists, curators and media ultimately growing the winner’s professional practice.

This award has famously been a launching pad for artists such as Blessing Ngobeni, Tshepo Mosopa, Ayanda Kupa, Thato Nhlapo and Keneilwe Mokoena. Nomphumelelo is the 6th winner of the prestigious award and we expect her career to go from strength to strength.

Her work focuses on the identity of a woman within African Traditional marriages, and how her journey transitions from her own personal identity to a completely new and performed identity. In her work she makes use of feminine traditional elements such as head wraps, blankets and veils masquerading them as a way of translating this performed identity. She allows these elements to give the illusion of a figure or a portrait thus putting focus on the external performed identity, given by the posture and gestures of the figure. The posture or gestures of the unseen figure plays on the concept of how a woman is expected to carry herself in front of her elders.

The Bag Factory would like to thank our sponsors Strauss & Co and the Everard Read  Gallery their generosity in continuing the legacy of the Cassirer Welz Award and supporting the development of young artists.

Image: The happy winner