Nyakallo Maleke: Making Sense of the Same Story Exhibition Catalogue

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EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

Nyakallo Maleke: Making Sense Of The Same Story Curated by Boitumelo Makousu 30 November 2023 – 19 January 2024

BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS


Bag Factory Artists’ Studios presents The debut solo exhibition by Nyakallo Maleke

Making Sense Of The Same Story Draw, doodle and put anything on paper without overthinking? Do you recall the liberating feeling you got from creating, experimenting and making mistakes in that process, yet accepting them because somehow, they would make sense as a child? As you grow older the intuitive act of drawing slowing alleviates as you navigate through other forms expression. Ready? Go!


Making Sense Of The Same Story is Nyakallo Maleke's debut exhibition in Johannesburg. The display is deeply rooted in restoring the fundamentals of drawing as an expressive form of communication that transcends language barriers across a physical and a fictional space. The exhibition seeks to steer the audience into multilayered fragments that navigate the processes for how to make a drawing. Drawing functions as an alternative approach for understanding, processing and conveying information. Guided through the lens of abstract expressionism and materiality, the exhibition space facilitates the audience to map out an intricate and interactive encounter that connects the practice of drawing to a personal, social and collective experience navigated through space, and - movements. In its undiluted form, Maleke's work fearlessly communicates vulnerability through the transformative language of materials, emotions and actions. The exhibition encourages individuals to articulate their ideas, emotions, and observations through drawing, mark marking, reading and play as a powerful means towards self-discovery and connection with the world. The actions of mark-making that are manifested in Maleke's work opens a layer, which demonstrates the artist’s willingness to investigate a concept and the physical act of using for example, a pencil, charcoal, paintbrush, needle and more. Each stroke, each line, each splash of color corresponds with the artist's innermost feelings rather than conforming to predefined forms.


It becomes a celebration of the raw and authentic connection between the artist and the canvas, a dialogue between the hand and the heart demonstrates to the artist's willingness to experiment with techniques, using vivid yet arbitrary colors, reshaping forms, and defying conventional three-dimensional perspectives. This exhibition invites the viewer to delve into the layered spheres that are connected to intuition, mapping, improvisation, translation and serendipity. It encourages us to embrace the unpredictability and uncertainty of the creative process, the moments of discovery that emerge through spontaneity and chance. Maleke's work challenges us to step outside our comfort zones by bridging the gap between information and allowing ourselves to restore the intuitive acts of drawing, painting and mark making. A provocation of thought, emotion, a space for contemplation is created in Maleke's work of which through activations connects us more deeply with self and strengthens our shared human experience.

So, how did your drawing go?


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Abyss 2023 Charcoal, oil pastel, pencil, tea leaves and acrylic on fabric Image size: 70 x 53 cm Frame size: 80.5 x 62.5 x 3.5 cm R 20 125.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Tracking I 2023 Charcoal, chalk and oil paint on canvas Image size: 65 x 173 cm Frame size: 72 x 197.5 x 3.5 cm R 57 500.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Tracking II 2021 Cotton thread on Kraft paper Image size: 78 x 194 cm Frame size: 55 x 202 x 3.5 cm R 57 500.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Find Your Way 2023 Thread, charcoal pencil, tea leaves and tea bags on fabric Image size: 78 x 105 cm Frame size: 102 x 135.5 x 3.5 cm R 54 050.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Manuscript I 2021 Charcoal, thread, tape and chalk on wax paper Image size: 192 x 30 cm Frame size: 196.5 x 34 x 3,5 cm R 39 400.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Untitled (Purple I) 2020 Watercolor, thread, pencil and charcoal on wax paper Image size: 180 x 29 cm Frame size:188 x 37 x 3.5 cm R 39 400.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

If I… 2023 Thread, watercolor, acrylic and soft pastel on fabric Image size: 147 x 165 cm Frame size: 173 x 196 x 3.5 cm R 77 050.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Seeding 2020 Pastel, thread on wax paper Image size: 86 x 139 cm Frame size 102 x 153 x 4.5 cm R 77 050.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Echoes 2022 Oil pastel and charcoal on wax paper Image size: 98 x 58 cm Frame size: 102.5 x 62.5 x 3.5 cm R 16 675.00 (incl. VAT)


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Drawing with my mother 2020 Stone residue and pencil on fax roll Image size: 20.5 x 20 cm Frame size: 31 x 30 x 2.5 cm NFS


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Copper Notations V 2021 Watercolor, cotton and metal thread and pencil on wax paper Image size: 15 x 11.5 cm Frame size: 21 x 23 x 3 cm NFS


ABOUT THE ARTIST Nyakallo Maleke is an artist and writer based in Johannesburg. Her practice is grounded on an expanded concept of drawing, which she uses as a tool for building narratives related to space, vulnerability, mapping and fiction in relation to the public space. Maleke's drawings take shape across disciplines, manifesting in the form of installations, performative gestures, sound pieces, printmaking and sculpture. Her work continues to be invested in materiality, often combining tools such as pencils and charcoal with a meticulous embroidery-like stitching that is depicted on unconventional surfaces such as wax paper and plastic drop sheet. Maleke completed a Master of Art in Public Sphere (with distinction) at the École de design et haute école d’art du Valais (édhéa), Switzerland (2019). Her practice-based research considers drawing as writing and writing as drawing to speak back to vulnerability and movement in the public space. She is an alumnus of the Asiko International Art School, Addis Ababa edition (2016) and graduated with BA Fine Art from Wits University in 2015. She has participated in group exhibitions at venues including NGO – Nothing Gets Organised, Johannesburg; Stevenson, Cape Town; Modzi Art Gallery, Lusaka, and the 13th Dak'art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal, in which she participated in the exhibition Canine Wisdom for the Barking Dog-The Dog Done Gone Deaf. Her first solo exhibition, titled Leaning Towards an Edge that Does Not Leak was held at the John Muafangego Art Centre in Windhoek, Namibia, in 2016. Maleke is also recognised as a fiction writer and was recently shortlisted for the inaugural Toyin Falola Prize for her short story titled Eskia. In 2022 she participated in the Aichi Triennial in Aichi, Japan and the exhibition Echo, at Jenkins Johnson, USA. Maleke participated in the project titled Commonplaces, a commissioned project by INSITE Journal.

BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS


ABOUT THE CURATOR Boitumelo Makousu is a versatile force seamlessly blending the roles of Independent Curator, Art Education Facilitator, and Cultural Custodian. Makousu has acquired a BA Honours in Tourism Management, Postgraduate Certificate in Archives and Records Management, and a BA in Cultural and Heritage Tourism Management from North West University (NMU). Her professional footprint has been with the following organizations NWU Gallery, Javett-UP Art Centre, Latitudes Online, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience, Ms Simone Art & Design, Creative Feel, Art Times, Kano Creative Agency, Keep The Dream Arts, and The Bag Factory Artist’s Studios. In 2023, Makousu expanded her curatorial reach, taking her exhibition "O mang, O tswa kae, O ya kae" to the Constitutional Hill of South Africa. This monumental showcase exemplifies her ambition to bring art to the public sphere, transcending traditional gallery spaces. Makousu's impact extends beyond physical spaces, as evidenced by the immersive 3D tours accompanying her exhibitions. These virtual experiences, such as the ones for NWU Gallery and Constitutional Hill, exemplify her commitment to making art accessible to a global audience. Her journey unfolds as a narrative of connecting diverse voices, preservation and archiving of cultural heritage, and inviting audiences to explore the intricate threads of our shared human experience through the lens of art. BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS


ABOUT BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS The Bag Factory is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation in Newtown, Johannesburg. With a pioneering 32-year history of providing a supportive infrastructure for artists, the Bag Factory is unique in combining art making with cultural debate and art exhibitions, thereby creating a fertile international environment for experimentation, innovation, and cultural dialogue between creatives in South Africa and the rest of the world. We provide studio space to a cross-generational community of Johannesburg-based artists and host a prestigious international artist and curator residency programme. We present regular exhibitions in our gallery that showcase new work by early career artists to the wider public, and we also support the professional development of artists and curators through workshops, mentorship, and the prestigious David Koloane and Cassirer Welz awards. All our programmes are accompanied by a public programme that encourages greater understanding of contemporary visual art and stimulates interaction between artists and the local community. We are affiliated with the international Triangle Network.

BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS


BAG FACTORY ARTISTS’ STUDIOS

Contac t information

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