• 02 March 2020
  • KZNSA, Competitions

Dr. Bajabulile Dhlamini, co-curator of Ikhono LaseNatali, Ismail Farouk, from DUT's Art for Humanity, and Tamlin Blake of the Spier Arts Trust, will be judging work created in 2020. Learn more about them below.

This years theme is X:


The antepenultimate letter of the English alphabet, X serves as an essential representation of variability and the unknown. Used to indicate a number or name that is not known or stated in maths or legal documents, the letter was appropriated by civil rights activist Malcolm X to symbolise the African family name he could never know. 

X has been recognised as the non-binary symbol for gender in pronouns and titles, and adopted as a feminist symbol by many womxn. 

It is the mark we are forced make when voting, and which illiterate people were urged to use as a stand-in signature. 

It stands for affection in our social media, hidden treasure on a pirate map and the Roman numeral 10, as well as a mark for something incorrect and a whole lot more. 

What can it inspire in art?

Dr. Bajabulile Dhlamini

Dhlamini is a curator, education and artistic programme developer. She is a business woman, currently handling business management and administration, marketing and merchandising, and facilitates project management for Muholi Productions. She is a co-curator, designer and content creator for 'Ikhono LaseNatali'. She is the founder and Director of Betive Holdings, and sole founder of Betive Community Development Trust.

Ismail Farouk

A multidisciplinary artist and Director of Art For Humanity at Durban University of Technology, Ismail Farouk’s work has featured in various collections, publications, platforms and exhibitions globally. Interrogating intersecting modalities and technologies of power that reproduce colonial legacies in the everyday, Farouk works towards carving out spaces for playing with, looking at, discussing, speaking alongside/performing alternative and hidden archives. The way in which questions of gender, race, sexuality, class and the body/embodied intersect with food, eating, geographies of displacement and foodways, can reveal a great deal about the ways in which coloniality is reproduced as well as resisted, reimagined and unsettled in the present. Ismail delves into these spaces of the intimate, the visceral, the eaten, the edible and practices of consumption in order to unsettle his own sensory, ethical and epistemic geographies of meaning and practice.

Tamlin Blake

Tamlin Blake is a South African mixed media artist and holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from the University of Stellenbosch. She has exhibited extensively at home and abroad, has had eight solo exhibitions to date and is an associated artist with the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg. Tamlin is the chief curator for the Spier Arts Trust where she is responsible for the acquisition of new work for various collections. Her role includes conceiving and administering artist career development programmes supported by shared value partners, like Nando’s and Spier. This includes reviewing applicants for participation in these programmes and engaging directly with artists about their current practice, providing feedback and constructive criticism, and looking for opportunities that we might be able to offer them at their current level of experience. She is also responsible for signing off on artwork production quality at Spier Artisan Studios.

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