An Exhibition Curated by Tshegofatso Seoka and Sango Filita From the Aquisitions of the Unisa Art Collection

From the predisposition of Linda Nochlin’s article “Why have there been no great woman artists” Linda expresses issues that women have faced within the art realm from a lack of recognition, limitations to practice as well as the patriarchal nature of the arts sector.
“The guerilla girls” have over the years researched and shared the statistics of women representation and collection by galleries, museums, and private collections which are at a startling low when compared with those of their male counterparts. Even to this day, upon a simple search of the major galleries in the country, continent, and globally, it is quite easy to note the disparities between men and women artist representation and collection.

In “Can the Subaltern Speak” by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1971), criticizes different cultural writers from the west and their writings about the “other” while posing a critical question, Can the Subaltern Speak? In this exhibition, we witness the speaking of the subaltern by women artists from the continent and the diaspora.

From complex issues of identity. Migration, land, and displacement, the works fluctuate from traditional to contemporary, experimental as well installation works, Women artists have been and continue to voice, express, and narrate varied viewpoints, experiences, and philosophies through their work. Raging from folklore tales and Greek mythology, to the documentation of lived experiences, reflections on transgenerational dreams and aspirations, and advocating for human rights and women’s rights, the Unisa Art Collections hosts wide-ranging artistic representations by women artists.

The transformative collection policy of the gallery has led to the collection of internationally and nationally acclaimed artists such as Nandipha Mntambo, Sir Muholi Muholi, Mary Sibande, Aida Mulneh Philiswa Lila, Deborah Bell, Wilma Cruise, Kim Berman, Bridget Baker, Thuli Mekondjo, Usha Seejarim, and Jeanette Elhers, amongst others, all representative of what it is to be human and to be a woman. With many more artists to be discovered and collected, the Unisa Art Gallery aims at contributing to the sustainability and visibility of women artists within the country and abroad by collecting and showcasing artistic renditions of women artists with the vision of increasing art history scholarship on women artists.




Msezane, Sethembile Umoya: a Quiet Revolution Photography 2017


Mntambo, Nandipha Silent Embrace I Digital Print on Cotton Rag Paper 173 X 91cm ,2007


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