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Navel Seakamela

Navel Seakamela

1991

Navel Seakamela is a figurative painter exploring themes of self-representation and Black identity from the perspective of his own post-Apartheid generation.


Navel Seakamela was born in Soshanguve, Tshwane in 1991, and grew up in Tembisa township just outside Johannesburg. His subjects appear as silhouettes of ambiguous gender, with few details or distinguishing features other than their dark tonality and, very often, prominent red mouths. Although his large-scale paintings depict not so much the individual person as a sense of shared identity, the close framing of his subjects and emotive expression lend his portraits an intimacy and sense of vulnerability. Through his work, he addresses feelings of isolation, gender precepts and the psychological impact of consumerist culture.


Seakamela’s interest in art began at the Tembisa Art Centre, leading him to pursue more formal studies at Tshwane University of Technology. where he completed a diploma in visual arts in 2015. He was a finalist in the PPC Imaginarium Art Competition (2015) and the Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards (2014) and apprenticed under Angus Taylor at the Dionysys Sculture Works in 2017. Seakamela has participated in numerous local exhibitions since 2013, including Spring Awakening (2022) at Southern Guild; Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt, which was part of FNB Art Joburg’s Open City (2021); Divided Self at P72 Projects (2021); and shows at North West University Gallery in Potchefstroom, Tshwane University of Technology Gallery and the Pretoria Art Museum. He has shown his work at the FNB Joburg Art Fair and Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg, and at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair with Southern Guild. 


He has held solo exhibitions at Kalashnikovv Gallery in Johannesburg (2021), Nel Gallery in Cape Town (2021), Bonne Espérance in Paris (2022) and Southern Guild in Cape Town (2022). He was the inaugural artist in the GUILD Residency, during which he completed the body of work for his first solo with Southern Guild, Who We Should Not Be.

Untitled

Untitled

2021

Charcoal, pastel and acrylic on paper

117 x 100 cm

Available

Lean on me

Lean on me

2021

Charcoal, pastel and acrylic on paper

117 x 214 cm

Available

Within my space

Within my space

2021

Charcoal, pastel and acrylic on paper

117 x 214 cm

Available

Artworks

Present: Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa

1991: Born in Soshanguve, Tshwane

2015: Diploma in Visual Arts, Tshwane University of Technology


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2022

  • Who We Should Not Be, Southern Guild, Cape Town, South Africa

  • People Are Flowers, Bonne Espérance, Paris, France


2021

  • Reflect, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Inner Space, Nel Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023

  • As If We Knew, Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa

  • On Lines and Lineage, Cavalli Gallery, Somerset West, South Africa


2022

  • Spring Awakening, Southern Guild, Cape Town, South Africa


2022

  • Contemporary African Art: The Dreams and Realities of Identity, Lithuanian National Museum of Art, Tumo Gallery, Vilinius, Lithuania


2022

  • Sharing A Moment | Contemporary African Art Exhibition, Tumo Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania


2018

  • Tactic, North West University Gallery, Potchefstroom, South Africa


FAIRS

2023

  • Investec Cape Town Art Fair


2022

  • Investec Cape Town Art Fair

  • Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg


2021

  • FNB Joburg Art Fair


AWARDS

2015: PPC Imaginarium Art Competition, Finalist

2014: Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards, Finalist


RESIDENCIES

  • 2022: GUILD Residency, Cape Town, South Africa

  • 2013: Kopanong Art Residency, Pretoria, South Africa


COLLECTIONS

  • Investec Corporate Collection, Cape Town, South Africa

Exhibitions

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