IN: Inspiration

Meet the judges: Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi

A mostly self-taught painter, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi has participated in various exhibitions both locally and abroad and is the recipient of a number of international residency fellowship awards.

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Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was mentored at Greatmore Studios in Woodstock and am currently a member of the board of trustees. In 2011, I won a fellowship award for a residency at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California in the US. In 2012, I won the Blachère’s Foundation award in the 2012 Dak’art Biennale in Dakar. In 2013 I won another fellowship award at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany. I’m currently represented by Barnard Gallery and have had several shows with them.

Did you study formally, and if so, how did this inform your future career?

I didn’t study formally and I don’t have a university degree, but I received training in art at the Community Art Projects in Woodstock in 2000 and 2001. During those years, myself and four other classmates would embark on a research expedition and go to the galleries, university lectures, museums and libraries to bring back books and information about the galleries, how they worked and what was currently on show, and see if we can beat that in terms of our practise. That helped us gain more knowledge of what was happening in the contemporary arts scene in Cape Town.

What key aspect will you be looking at when judging contestants’s work?

The craft, aesthetics, content, use of visual language and durability.

What are your thoughts on art and design in South Africa and Africa as a whole?

I have seen some great stuff in Africa, which is unfortunately overlooked by European and western standards.

What do you think about the future of the arts and design in South Africa?

I think there is more exciting things happening in South Africa in terms of art and design. University students are already doing great stuff.

What advice would you give young and up-and-coming designers and artists?

Be original, be on your toes and keep coming up with new creations all the time. Craft is magic, it is the king of all the creative components. People should want to know how you did it.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Collaborations. Turning my work into multimedia creations by asking people from different art forms and backgrounds to translate my paintings into their mediums. Earlier this year I invited musicians, dancers digital artists to recreate and perform my paintings. It was nice seeing my paintings come to life on stage.

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