She is the recipient of the 2022 FNB Art Prize, presents an exhibition titled Cape Town at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Dada Khanyisa now exhibits her solo work as FNB Art Prize Winner for 2023.
Currently living in Cape Town, Khanyisa spent their formative years in Johannesburg, visiting institutions such as JAG for inspiration. This sense of ‘homecoming’ is reflected in the exhibition’s meditation on nostalgia, as well as the relationship between place and self-authorship. They return to the City of Gold with an exhibition focused on their experiences since leaving Gauteng. Cape Town acts as a semi-autobiographical notebook of spaces and moments that have shaped them in the Mother City, some of which no longer exist.
Reflecting on a decade in this coastal metropolis. “I visited the city 11 years ago; the appeal was undeniable. I explored my way into the fine art program at UCT and through this, I could zoom in on this beautiful city and its thick history,” she says. “I have encountered many people, textures, sunsets, rain proof jackets, open relationships, 2 Rand requests, wood and strong community. There have been plenty of life altering and character shifting moments, most of which have been necessary. Through this body of work, I will unpack my experience.”
One of the most coveted visual art prizes on the African continent, the FNB Art Prize has demonstrated how the fair has not only continued to celebrate talent but actively practice patronage.
With this prize, Dada Khanyisa joins artists, Wycliffe Mundopa, Lady Skollie, Bronwyn Katz, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Peju Alatise, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Turiya Magadlela, Portia Zvavahera, and Kudzanai Chiurai among others.
FNB Art Joburg Managing Director, Mandla Sibeko says, “When you look back at the calibre of artists who have won this prize, they do bring a lot of inspiration to all of us. They have used such interesting materials to interrogate important issues,” he says. “Dada Khanyisa is no different because they have contributed so much to the contemporary art landscape of South Africa not only in theme but the form and style of their work.”
Cape Town opens on Saturday 26th August 2023 and runs until February 2024. There will be a number of walkabouts and activations throughout the run of the show.