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Buqaqawuli Thamani Nobakada

Buqaqawuli Thamani Nobakada

2000

Buqaqawuli Thamani Nobakada (b. 2000-) is an emerging contemporary mixed media artist born in the Western Cape and raised between Philippi township and a remote village in Lady Frere, Eastern Cape called Cumakala. Nobakada was first introduced to Fine Art in Johannesburg in the beginning of her adolescence and uses her academic background in architecture to create elaborate painting installations featuring materials that play into themes of black opulence and luxury, namely lace and various gemstones. Her primary medium is acrylic paint on hand prepared laced paper, often with the use of custom clay or gold jewellery. This is the medium through which much of the passion in her work is demonstrated; as she creates a delicate environment designed to affirm the beauty and gentleness with which she sees herself whilst simultaneously teaching the world how to see her, and anyone else who sees any part of themselves reflected back as they engage with the black female protagonists portrayed in Nobakada’s domestic moments of exaggerated abundance and intimacy.


Nobakada’s work reflects the regal performances of femininity and beauty she finds herself surrounded by as she navigates tensions between traditional and modern expressions of beauty in a postcolonial world, and its relationship with the growing socioeconomic autonomy of women. Her elaborate figurative paintings of herself and the women around her display women in soft moments of non-sexual intimacy, this strategic self-disclosure allows black women to bear witness their own (and each other’s) “complex personhood” and to their rich interiority.


Nobakada is currently completing her Honours degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand and is partaking in 2 online shows in the overall Latitudes Curator Lab group exhibition, whilst working towards the RMB Latitudes art fair in May 2023. Nobakada’s craft extends outside of the fine art discipline and into the world of fashion through collaborative work with the renowned Levi’s Haus. She has exhibited in the “I Am & Nothing Else,” group exhibition with Affinity art gallery in Lagos, Nigeria and in the “Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt” Open City group exhibition by Anelisa Mangcu and Jana Terblanche for FNB Art Joburg.


“Black feminism is distinctive in its commitment to love as a political practice.”

- Nash, J: Love in the time of death

Noludwe

Noludwe

2021

Mixed media on paper

138 x 96 cm

Available

Nolinathi

Nolinathi

2021

Mixed media on paper

174 x 125 cm

Available

Nosakhumzi

Nosakhumzi

2021

Mixed media on paper

151 x 133 cm

Available

Nokwandisa

Nokwandisa

2021

Mixed media on paper

173 x 126cm

Available

11:38 am on a Wednesday

11:38 am on a Wednesday

2023

Acrylic Paint on Hand Prepared Lace Paper

98.5 x 120.5 x 3.6 cm

Sold

Sunset Avenue - Llandudno

Sunset Avenue - Llandudno

2023

Acrylic Paint on Hand Prepared Lace Paper

73.6 x 102.6 x 3.6 cm

Sold

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (2024)

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (2024)

2024

Acrylic Paint on Hand Prepared Lace Paper

142,5 x 133 cm

Sold

Queen Sono

Queen Sono

2021

Mixed Media on Fabriano with lace

Framed: 160 x 120 cm

Sold

Untitled II

Untitled II

2023

Mixed Media on Fabriano

Framed: 78 x 62 cm

Available

Untitled I

Untitled I

2023

Mixed Media on Fabriano, 2023

Framed: 78 x 62 cm

Available

When women are alone

When women are alone

2024

Acrylic Paint on Hand Prepared Lace Paper

H102 x W129 x D6cm

Available

Les Demoiselle De Johannesburg

Les Demoiselle De Johannesburg

2024

Acrylic Paint on Hand-Prepared Lace Paper

H151,5 x 92cm x D4cm (unframed)

Available

Artworks

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2023

  • ‘Turbine Art Fair’ (solo presentation), Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg, South Africa (July)


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2024

  • Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Under The Aegis, Cape Town, South Africa (February) 


2023

  • ‘Interwoven Identities: Lace, Legacy, and Liberation’ by Origin Art, Keyes Art Mile, Johannesburg, South Africa (November – February 2024)

  • ‘Hiatus’ group show, Ebony/Curated, Cape Town, South Africa (September- November)

  • ‘All that she carried’, Latitudes Centre for The Arts, Johannesburg, South Africa (August - September)

  • ‘After Paradise’, Womxn’s month group exhibition, USURPA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (August) 

  • ‘INDEX curated by Nkhensani Mkhari’, RMB Latitudes Art Fair (group exhibition), Shepstone Gardens, Johannesburg, South Africa (May)

  • ‘An Endless Night’, curated by Anelisa Mangcu, Mount Nelson Hotel in partnership with Investec Cape Town Art Fair, South Africa (May-August)

  • ‘To Eat Burnt Toast’, curated by Motheo Mamabolo, Latitudes Curator Lab, Johannesburg, South Africa (May)

  • ‘Intimate Histories’, curated by Denzel Nyathi, Latitudes Curator Lab, Johannesburg, South Africa (April)


2022

  • ‘HERstory, an all-women art exhibition’, Cromwell Ngobeni Art Studio, Johannesburg, South Africa (August)

  • ‘Calculus of Joy’, Rare Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (August)

  • ‘I am &…Nothing Else’, Affinity Art Gallery, Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria (March - April)

  • ‘SOMA – Body tolerance and transcendence in the 21st century’, curated by Corps Artistik, Paris, France (January)


2021

  • 'Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt’, curated by Anelisa Mangcu and Jana Terblanche, FNB Art Joburg (Open City), Johannesburg, South Africa (October – November)

Exhibitions

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