Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2009 Nicholas Hlobo: Umtshotsho
The Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art 2009 has been awarded to Nicholas Hlobo. This exhibition began its year-long tour at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, in July 2009 and travelled to various major centres around South Africa before ending its run in Cape Town in August 2010.
Nicholas Hlobo presents a major new sculptural installation in his solo exhibition, Umtshotsho. Hlobo draws strongly on his Xhosa heritage in his work, invoking the rich idioms of the Xhosa language and exploring how traditions evolve in changing times. Of equal interest to Hlobo are his own sexual identity, and his place as a gay man within Xhosa culture. Where his previous shows have looked at ideas surrounding birth and sex, in this exhibition Hlobo takes as his theme the rituals that accompany the transition from youth to adulthood.