Taking inspiration from the current exhibition, Matereality – create your own artwork using recyclable materials lying around your home, post a photo of it to social media, and use the hashtag  #MaterialsMatterChallenge to keep us in the loop. Every few days, Iziko will be posting an artwork featured in Matereality to our social media pages – so keep your eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your own creation inspiration!

Matereality highlights how contemporary artists from the African continent are challenging traditional notions around what materials are suited to art-making. The group exhibition explores different issues and ideas such as climate and environmental issues; pollution; waste; xenophobia; poverty; beauty; gender; and politics – using certain materials to provide insight into their reality. 

The exhibition unpacks how artists have used the materials, whether directly or indirectly, to raise questions about larger societal concerns. The selection of artists may explore a wide range of issues; however, the thread that connects them all is that of using materiality to guide the aesthetic experience.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Athi Patra-Ruga, Patrick Bongoy, Jodi Paulsen, Billie Zangewa, Bert Pauw, Bronwyn Katz, Cyrus Kabiru and Gabrielle Kruger – to name just a few. These artists explore what is important to them with autonomy and authority, but without losing the material traditions that have been such an important part of their nation’s artistic or historical legacy. The materials being used often have an inherent history, which can offer a powerful starting point and make for a more meaningful process.

These mostly upcoming or established artists provide a glimpse into the vibrant South African art scene as well as the visual production from the rest of the African continent. This swathe of contemporary artists from across the continent are exploring ‘the material’ in new and exciting ways. The works encapsulate a very wide scope of materials, showing that ‘materiality’ is a rich subject; materials range from cow-hides to plastic bags, from bra-straps to pantyhose, from fake nails to computer parts.

Matereality is curated by Andrea Lewis, Iziko Curator of Prints and Drawings. While the museums are closed, you are welcome to visit Iziko online at www.iziko.org.za. The #MuseumFromHome initiative provides museums across the world with a different platform for creating awareness and engaging society about contemporary issues.

About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and public benefit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope, Groot Constantia and Planetarium and Digital Dome). Visit our webpage at www.iziko.org.za, join our online community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IzikoMuseums), Instagram (@izikomuseumssa) or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.