South African Art: 9 Women To Watch In 2015

Arts and culture writer Stefanie Jason picks out nine women on South Africa’s arts scene to watch in 2015.

1. The Gallerist: Zama Phakathi

Photo: Nicole Olwagen

It’s rare that one gets to meet a 23-year-old black female gallerist in South Africa, let alone around the world. Galleries tend to be thought of as sterile and exclusive spaces run by established art practitioners. But this is not the case for Joburg’s Zama Phakathi, whose recently opened StopSign Art Gallery joins a short list of youth-owned gallery spaces in South Africa that defy that stuffy, "white cube" ideology. StopSign is not a traditional platform for the art, Phakathi tells me. “It’s a mobile art gallery inside a shipping container and our focus is emerging artists.” Previously based in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct, the Wits University graduate says the container will pop up around different parts of the city in 2015, as well as Soweto and Pretoria. And it will kick off its year with an opening exhibition by renowned and controversial South African artist Ayanda Mabulu.

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