• Posted: Sep 26, 2011

DATE: 26 September 2011




Iziko South African National Gallery, 28 September – 7 November, 2011.

The Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Visual Art exhibition, Nandipha Mntambo: Faena, opens at the Iziko South African National Gallery on 28 September 2011. For 28-year old Nandipha Mntambo, cowhide is the primary medium used to express her passion for challenging societal and cultural norms.

“Winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award is wonderful. At this stage of my career it is a great affirmation of my achievements within my art practice,” said Mntambo. “My hope is that the scope of my art creation would be increased.”  Well known for her experimentation with natural elements, Mntambo is as concerned with the creative process as with the end-result of her work. Her creativity has crossed many national, cultural, emotional and artistic boundaries.

“My intention is to explore the physical and tactile properties of hide and aspects of control that allow or prevent me from manipulating this material in the context of the female body and contemporary art,” Mntambo explained in a catalogue statement for her solo exhibition Ingabisa. “I have used cowhide as a means to subvert expected associations with corporeal presence, femininity, sexuality and vulnerability.”

"Nandipha Mntambo is one of South Africa's most remarkable young sculptors,” said Brenton Maart, National Arts Festival committee member for Visual Art. “Her mastery of an incredibly difficult medium, animal skin and hair, allows her to shape morphing structures that are part human and part animal, part alive and part dead, part grotesquely revolting and part sensually enticing. It is this ambivalence, that sense of unease that elevates Mntambo's work above the level of the commonplace into the ranks of the astonishing."

Nandipha Mntambo has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions around the world and continued to participate on home soil. Her thought–provoking solo exhibitions include Umphatsi Wemphi (2009), The Encounter (2009), Ingabisa (2007) and her Master's exhibition, Locating me in order to see you (2007). 

“I’m inspired by my everyday environment, the past and the present,” said Mntambo. “I've also been experimenting with photography, video and performance. It’s great to be able to diversify,”



Iziko Museums (Iziko) operates 12 national museums in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections which reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these 12 museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, as well as unlimited free access to individuals aged 18 and under (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).

COMMEMORATIVE DAYS – FREE ENTRANCE (excluding Iziko Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope)

  • Human Rights Day: 21 March
  • Freedom Day: 27 April
  • International Museum Day: 25 May
  • Africa Day: 25 May
  • Youth Day: 16 June
  • National Women’s Day: 9 August
  • Heritage Week: 19 – 25 September
  • National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
  • Emancipation Day: 1 December
  • Day of Reconciliation: 16 December

About the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards
The Young Artist Awards were started in 1981 by the National Arts Festival to acknowledge emerging, relatively young South African artists who have displayed an outstanding talent in their artistic endeavours. These prestigious awards are presented annually to deserving artists in different disciplines, affording them national exposure and acclaim. Standard Bank took over the sponsorship of the awards in 1984 and presented Young Artist Awards in all the major arts disciplines over their 27-year sponsorship, as well as posthumous and special recognition awards. The winners feature on the main programme of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and receive financial support for their Festival participation, as well as a cash prize.

Issued by: Melody Kleinsmith
Communications Coordinator: Institutional Advancement, Iziko Museums
Telephone +27 (0) 21 481 3861
Facsimile +27 (0) 21 481 9620
Cell 073 107 4955

On behalf of: Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums

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