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Incantations Exhibition in Cape Town Showcases 11 Female Non-Binary Artists

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Eclectica Contemporary in South Africa is currently hosting an exciting exhibition titled Incantations. The exhibition showcases female and non-binary artists who employ Incantations as a methodology in their practices, creating unique bodies of work. Each artist intervenes in conventional representations of the female and queer body. Among the artists presenting are Rochelle Nembhard, Haneem ChristianLegakwanaLeo Makgekgenene, Tayhe Munsamy, Osaru Obaseki, Hannalie Taute, Souad Abdelrasoul, Nthabiseng Boledi, Anushka Kempken and Hannah Fleishman.

OSARU OBASEKICoated in Lines I, 2022. Bronze. 56 × 23 × 14 cm. image courtesy of Artsy.

The exhibition, Incantations, traces its roots back to Late Latin, to mean the “art of enchanting. It showcases how incantations can protect, heal, affirm, and re-imagine through artistic practices. It offers a contrapuntal reading of cultural, spiritual, and individual perspectives the artists portray in their bodies of work. Incantations transform the artistic practice into a ritual by showing the power from which magic emerges. It additionally weaves a tapestry of enchantment that captivates viewers and transports them to new realms of understanding. Artists bravely take on the challenge of disrupting dominant ways of seeing, thinking, and being. They enable the re-imagination, re-description, and reinvention of themselves in liberatory ways.

LEGAKWANALEO MAKGEKGENENE. Mofenyi (Sethuthuntshwane IV), 2023.Digital Photograph on True Fibre Matte .100 x 67cm.Image courtesy of Eclectica Contemporary

The selected female and non-binary artists use various mediums and forms to explore the power of Incantations in their creative practices. Viewers can expect a stunning array of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and mixed-media artworks. The artists breathe life into their enchanting narratives with each brushstroke, sculpted form, and mixed-media creation. Incantations craft a powerful spell that resonates with the human experience.

 ROCHELLE NEMBHARDBeyond, Within, 2021. Print. 120 × 80 cm. Image courtesy of Artsy.

The main themes explored include identity, femininity, and queerness, imbued with the artists’ narratives and reflections. The artworks feature vibrant colours, and intricate details, that forge connections with ancient rituals and practices. With this thought-provoking symbolism, the exhibition invites viewers to delve deep into the artists’ worlds. The artists additionally channel ancestral wisdom to infuse their artwork with profound meaning. Viewers, in turn, become participants in this ethereal journey as they are invited to witness the transformative power of art as a vessel for healing and liberation.

The artistic rituals presented here challenge conventional understandings of gender, body, and identity, inviting viewers to question and dismantle societal norms that stifle individuality. As they immerse themselves in the artwork, visitors experience a shift in perspective, recognizing the potential for personal liberation through creative expression. The exhibition is on display at the Eclectica Contemporary art gallery in Cape Town till September 30th, 2023. Click here to access their fantastic catalogue.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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