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By Citizen Reporter


In absence of men: Exhibition looks at life without father figures

An exhibition by artist Lusanda Ndita, Indlela ibomvu is a meditation on the journeys his grandfather and male elders took to work in the cities

An exhibition by artist Lusanda Ndita, the recipient of the Tierney Fellowship at the Market Photo Workshop, speaks to the notion of a path or road ready to be travelled on. The title of the work Indlela ibomvu is borrowed from a Nguni idiom.

Ndita says Indlela ibomvu is a meditation on the journeys that took his grandfather and many of his male elders disappearing into its horizons; namely to the cities for work. The springboard of his work is the now matured curiosity of being raised by a single mother.

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

“I came across my grandfather’s apartheid-issued dompass. This identity document is my only visual reference that exists of my grandfather,” he says. “This experience triggered more research into the absence and the voids created by these mysterious men related to me.”

Ndita says Indlela ibomvu challenges the notion of the “absence” of men in his life. “It is a visual space where I am reminded of the men I have encountered and who have contributed positively in my upbringing and my path.”

About Lusanda Ndita

He is a visual artist based in Johannesburg. He was part of a group exhibition at Bubblegum Club as a finalist for the Elle Style Report 2016. In 2017, Ndita completed the advanced programme in photography at the Market Photo Workshop.

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His work was part of a student exhibition Photo Workshop 17 later that year. Ndita’s work was exhibited at the Cartier Booth at the 2017 Joburg Art Fair.

In 2018, he exhibited at Turbine Art Fair TAF18 as part of Talent Unlocked Artist Career Development Programme. He was part of a group show with Joburg Fringe 2019 at The Art Room. In 2020, Ndita participated in the group show Life in the time of corona at The Art Room. Ndita was the 2021 Sasol New Signatures finalist and participated in the group exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum.

About the Tierney Fellowship

The Tierney Fellowship was created in 2003 by The Tierney Family Foundation to support emerging artists in the field of photography. The primary goal of the fellowship is to find tomorrow’s distinguished artists and leaders in the world of photography and assist them in overcoming the challenges that a photographer faces at the beginning of their career.

About the Market Photo Workshop

This is a Johannesburg-based school of photography, gallery and resource centre for practising photographers. ɳɳ Since it started in 1989, the school has trained photographers from South Africa and further afield, while promoting photography through exhibitions, public debates and collaborative projects.

For more information contact Lemogang Matlhong, Exhibitions Coordinator on 011-834-1444 or e-mail lemom@marketphotoworkshop.co.za

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