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When an artist becomes the subject of her own art

20 November 2015 2:45 PM

Award-winning visual artist and activist, Zanele Muholi, turns the camera on herself to retell stories of pain - from personal to national

In contrast to her life-long project of documenting members of the black LGBTI community of South Africa, visual artist and activist, Zanele Muholi, turns the camera on herself in her latest powerful exhibition, Somnyama Ngonyama.

See images of attendants at Zanele Muholi's exhibition:

On being the subject of her own art

Being the subject of my art was one of the most painful experiences. It hasn't been easy having to confront myself and deal with my own demons that are often not reflected. Each photo in this series deals with a particular incident that was either unknown or mainstream - ranging from Marikana, losing my brother to racism.

Zanele Muholi, visual artist and LGBTI activist

Fellow artists on Muholi's latest work

She's one of the most important artists at the moment. She's managed to do in one lifetime what it has taken a lot of artists more. She always has a vision and whatever that vision is, it's always exciting.

George Mahashe, visual artist

This work is interesting for its aesthetics - it's engaging, it's intense and it's documented well. While the work is about her, she is able to turn the lens to you. I found myself self-reflecting.

Russell Hlongwane, arts admininstrator

There's a piece of Zanele's I enjoyed tonight where she has her back to you. To me it shows what insecurity looks like when you're alone, trying to understand complex things in their lives. There's something sad, honest and tender about it.

Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene, Nigerian perfprming artist and author

Zanele's work is both technically beautiful and emotionally resonant. She's unapologetic, intimately talking about gender identity, sexuality and race - three very important issues of our time.

Nakhane Toure, musician and author

20 November 2015 2:45 PM