June 16: More than just another ‘day off’

By: Ntombenhle Shezi (@NtombenhleShezi)

Meet Sethembile Msezane, a visual performer who takes the celebration of our historic public holidays to a literal and avant-garde Zulu-maiden level.

Artist: Sethembile Msezane Youth Day
Artist: Sethembile Msezane
Youth Day 2014 (Kliptown)

KwaZulu-Natal born artist, Sethembile Msezane, grew up in Soweto, Johannesburg and completed her BFA degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2012. Msezane explores the issues behind her identity that are centered around being a young 90s born Zulu maiden, growing up in the township and later leading an urban lifestyle in a metropolitan city.

A visual artist, Sethembile inserts herself in her work and hence places the importance of women back into the South African landscape through the visual commemoration of South African history on public holidays. In her current work, she has created characters that have emerged in a time where there are contested notions surrounding the roles of gender and tradition within contemporary South Africa. This work in progress is an investigation of self in relation to space in the times we live in today.

“The characters I’ve created discourse the significance of holidays such as Freedom Day combined with similar western histories through iconic imagery i.e. Lady Liberty/ the Statue of Liberty coupled with ‘Zulu’ motifs and dress as that are a strong part of my identity,” says Msezane.

Artist: Sethembile Msezane Workers Day 2014
Artist: Sethembile Msezane
Workers Day 2014
Freedom Day 2014
Artist: Sethembile Msezane
Freedom Day 2014
Freedom Day 2014
Artist: Sethembile Msezane
Freedom Day 2014
Artist: Sethembile Msezane Heritage Day 2014
Artist: Sethembile Msezane
Heritage Day 2014 (Rosebank Train Station)
Artist: Sethembile Msezane Human Rights Day 2014
Artist: Sethembile Msezane
Human Rights Day 2014 (Parliament, Cape Town)

Check out more of Msezane’s recent works:

Greatest Hits 2012, If the Halls could Talk at Association of Visual Arts (AVA) in Cape Town (2013)

Michaelis Grad Show at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town (2012)

CMYK exhibition at Speke photographic in Johannesburg (2012)

Manifestations of self: Self Portraits by 9 Women at Youngblood in Cape Town (2012)

Lovell Gallery as part of the Cape Town Month of Photography (2012)

1 Comment
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