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Lusanda Ndita tackles absent men in new exhibition ‘Indlela ibomvu’

Artwork by Lusanda Ndita. Picture: Supplied

Artwork by Lusanda Ndita. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 29, 2022

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South African visual artist Lusanda Ndita is challenging the notion of absent men in his new work, “Indlela ibomvu”, set to showcase at The Market Theatre this Saturday, at 11am.

Ndita says the exhibition challenges the notion of “absence of men” in his life.

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The installations also serve as an expression of gratitude to the men in his community that helped raise the man that he has become.

“It is a visual space where I am reminded of the present men I have encountered and who have contributed positively to my upbringing and my path – the uncles, the soccer coaches, neighbours and my father’s friends who supported me and assisted in clearing obstacles on my journey of life,” explains Ndita.

Elaborating on the inspiration behind his new body of work, Ndita says: “Indlela Ibomvu is a meditation on the journeys that took my grandfather and many of my male elders disappearing into its horizons, namely to the cities for work.

“The springboard of my work is the now matured curiosity of being raised by a single mother.

“My domestic archives in the form of photo albums, identity documents and oral history became the refuge for looking at the development of my own manhood in the ‘absence’ of men in my family and life.

“I came across my grandfather’s apartheid issued dompas. This identity document is the only visual reference that exists of my grandfather. ”

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According to Ndika, it was this experience that encouraged him put on his thinking cap and dig deeper into his family lineage.

“This experience triggered more research into imaging the absence and the voids created by these mysterious men related to me.”

Artwork by Lusanda Ndita. Picture: Supplied

Ndita is the 13th recipient of the Tierney Fellowship at the Market Photo Workshop, a foundation that supports emerging artists in the field of photography.

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His works have been exhibited at the Joburg Art Fair, Turbine Art Fair TAF18 as part of Talent Unlocked Artist Career Development Programme and Joburg Fringe 2019 hosted at The Art Room.

In 2020, Ndita participated in the group show titled “Life in the Time of Corona” at The Art Room.

His work was in the 2021 catalogue of the Art Bank of South Africa.

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Don’t miss “Indlela ibomvu” at The Market Theatre, on Saturday, April 30, from 11am.

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