Bongani Njalo, ‘Untitled’, Museum of African Design (MOAD)

Artist's Statement
The work is a re-imagining of an earlier work titled; Appearances, Phenomena, Reality (2009) which was born out of the desire to reveal society's macabre relationship with objects of material nature, primarily objects created for aesthetic purposes and intent purely to feed our insatiable desire for beauty outside of the natural environment. The material has taken over our interaction with nature and created a blanket between us and the natural world.

Image rights: Photographer: Louis Grobler Artwork copyright holder: Bongani Njalo

Bongani Njalo is a Fine Arts graduate who majored in Stained Glass from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (former PE Technikon). Prior to his graduation he was employed as an intern for the Mandela Bay Development Agency where he was tasked with the compilation of the Art & Artists of the Eastern Cape book which entailed the co-ordination and liason of over 200 artists of this region. Further to this, Bongani was also responsible for Curation of the 2011 Grahamstown National Arts Festival exhibition which was a culmination of the works of these Artists. His work in this position lead him to the newly created position of the newly revamped Port Elizabeth Athenaeum's Administration and Marketing Coordinator, a building the city as well as the Mandela Bay Development Agency entrusted him with after their extensive R3 Million renovations to the site. During his tenure in this position, Bongani also continued with his creative pursuits after hours and was successfully commissioned to complete two impressive works on the Nelson Mandela Bay's Route 67 Arts Journey - a public art route within the inner city of Port Elizabeth.

After participating in the 'Home//an experiment' exhibition curated by Uthando Baduza for the NAF Fringe 2012, where his work was highly lauded as visceral and groundbreaking, he chose to challenge his strengths as an Artist and Arts Administrator by departing his home town of Port Elizabeth in search of greener pastures, this road lead him to Johannesburg. Soon after the young artists' arrival in Gauteng, he was employed as Projects Assistant for the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg where he continues to work. In South Africa he is represented by the State of the Art online gallery where he serves on the curatorial panel for which he has curated virtual online exhibitions and has recently snapped up by the newly established Leonandi Contemporary Gallery in France. Bongani continues to create work in his personal capacity whilst working for the MPW and is currently participating in the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel exchange programme for which he will launch a permanent work of art for the hotel's collection.

Bongani equally enjoys partaking in exhibitions as a curator and an artist and has been invited to the following shows in both respects: -

*The exclusive Fashion & Art charity benefit in aid of The SA Medical and Education Foundation in association with Gavin Rajah - Cape Town Audi Centre (2010) where his contribution to the show was sold out.

*Invited to curate the Beehive exhibition for the Cape Town Month of Photography Triennial Festival 2012 at the Castle of Good Hope

*In 2012, he was invited to participate in the Art for Everyone Contemporary South African Art Auction by the Auction Inc. company which took place at the Sibisi Gallery in Johannesburg

About Bongani Njalo