Still Life and Life Drawings exhibition at Iziko

Iziko Museums of South Africa
12/03/2018 10:05:29

Still Life and Life Drawings: A Moment Captured or Preserved? is open at the Iziko South African National Gallery Annexe until December 7.

Iziko Museums of South Africa is proud to present Still Life and Life Drawings: A Moment Captured or Preserved? – a group exhibition exploring ideas of movement and stillness, and traditional ideas around life drawing and still lifes.

Hosted at the Iziko South African National Gallery Annexe, 80 St John’s Road in Gardens, Cape Town, the exhibition comes as the result of a four-day workshop, where five artists were tasked with collaborating and producing a cohesive body of work. The work reflects five individual perspectives, who, through their varied genres and mediums of practice, have presented a collection of their distilled experiences of life drawings and still lifes.

Curated by Lonwabo Kilani, Still Life and Life Drawings: A Moment Captured or Preserved? seeks to preserve the authenticity of the artistic process, and in engaging five artists with unique backgrounds – Dathini Mzayiya, Tazneem Wentzel, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Thabo Pitso and SaySay.Love – the exhibition has achieved a multiplicity of preserved perspectives.

Kilani notes that “through the creative process, we engaged the idea of movement and stillness, of life and death, and the traditional idea of ‘life drawing’ that presupposes an image generated from life or by something living. The exhibition also reflects on ‘still lifes’, which is the making of work generated from a single object, or group of objects gathered.”

“This is a small group, so there was no expectation within the context of the workshop, where we have dealt with the history of art, which is not literal but more like metaphor, and an organic process where we dealt with artists who are complex people,” Kilani adds.

For SaySay.Love, the workshop and build-up to the exhibition was also an exploration of the contradictions with which artists and humanity grapple, often succumbing to a sort of ‘fake life’. He notes that collaboration is vital, where “people have not learned love, so humans today are living the good and the bad side, where impunity and greed represent the bad side, but through art, moments in life can create an awareness that resonates with our need to love.”

Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi added that the workshop space is a positive challenge. “It’s trying something you’ve never done before, where working with others can be a spark, can open the windows of expectation for moments and reveal the contradictions between life and death,” he says.

Tazneem Wentzel describes the workshop experience as “a threshold”, where through this exploration – particularly drawing on the archive – an important statement could be made about “the bludgeoning of memory”. Through this process, the captured moment could be reinterpreted, revealing a certain beauty, because, as Wentzel notes, “people don’t often get an opportunity to see themselves in a way that is dignified”.

Speaking to specific elements of the creative process, Thabo Pitso comments that materials, such as found objects, sometimes fill a void in society. “It is telling the story of the object and in this group exhibition there is also the artist asking questions about life, with no right or wrong.”

For Dathini Mzayiya, “artists think in images, which starts with movement, and you don’t have to have meaning but are willing to explore. My wish is that the work we’ve created can be seen and that the audience can live through the art creation.”

Still Life and Life Drawings: A Moment Captured or Preserved? will be on show at the Iziko South African National Gallery Annexe, 80 St Johns Road, Gardens until Friday 7 December. The National Gallery Annexe is open for viewing from Mondays to Fridays, 09:00 until 16:30.

About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Social History Centre and three collection specific libraries in Cape Town. The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage. Iziko is a public entity and public benefit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure. The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope, Groot Constantia and Planetarium and Digital Dome). Visit our webpage at, join our online community on Facebook ( or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.

Media requests and enquiries contact:
Zikhona Jafta 021 481 3838 or email

Issued by: Ellen Agnew
Communications Coordinator: Iziko Museums of South Africa
Telephone: 021 481 3830
Cellphone: 073 680 3418
On behalf of: Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa Account:
Melody Kleinsmith
Iziko Museums of South Africa
021 481 3874
060 879 3513
CEO of Iziko Museums of South Africa
Related Venue:
Iziko Museums of South Africa, Cape Town Western Cape South Africa