Talking Loud
Visual Art / Grahamstown Gallery

South Africa is the home of a new visual arts zeitgeist. The vanguard is comprised of a few heralded local artists, from even fewer and difficult to inhabit spaces. Looking in on this phenomenon as an outsider, one could easily conflate what is presented with what is. Zoom out of the current trends, hype, pre-sold openings and paid for reviews however and something exciting appears.


The Contemporary South African arts landscape is most often distilled, bottled and branded as the ultimate location for figuration if you look at the market, but the Post-Apartheid and ever tenuous landscape provides a plethora of experiences for artists to imagine their way through. The inputs are often visceral and multi-storied.


We imagine the artists in this exhibition as auteurs of thoughts, materials, and moments of contemplation that are not lost to the historical musings of the past, rather, found within and throughout experiences of a South Africa approaching 30 years of democracy. Through this show, we’d like to place these experiences among one another to generate conversation about the sub(conscious) musings of emerging voices in the South African landscape of art.


The hyper-specific qualifications for canonisation fall short when one considers the vastness of lived realities in such a complex space, with the socio-political, socio-economic and historical nuances redacted.


This as well seems to have sparked conversations between visual arts practitioners across the country in the last few years, begging the question, what is South African art in 2024? Who are the players, how do we navigate the landscape and are we perceived in an informed and accurate way?


The artists in this show tug on our curatorial threads for this exhibition, and their imaginings fuel ours. Juxtaposed by the vitrines and colonial curiosities of the permanent museum exhibition downstairs, as well as the hidden in plain sight history of the building and the town itself, we hope the conversations between these elements can spark conversations for the viewers.


Book to join a hosted walkabout with curators, Shalom Mushwana and Callan Grecia.

Artist Biography

Callan Grecia (b.1991, Durban, South Africa)

Grecia currently lives and works in George, South Africa. Through painting, his frenetic and constantly shifting output pushes on the boundaries of the medium. Growing up in a post-apartheid South Africa, just short of being ‘born free’, Grecia’s obsessive making mirror’s the act of self discovery as a young South African thrown head first into the rainbow nation experiment, just prescient of everything prior.


Sampling Y2K internet aesthetics, early-2000s television, pop culture and consumer capitalist culture, Grecia’s compositions reflect an “ultra-nostalgia” for the recent past; a conflation of millennials’ wildest dreams and ultimate discontents.


Grecia graduated with his MFA in Painting in 2017. He has participated in numerous group shows nationally and internationally. He has had solo shows in South Africa, Korea and Spain and was a finalist for the MTN New Contemporaries Award in 2022.

Shalom Mushwana
Shalom Mushwana is a multidisciplinary artist based in Makhanda South Africa. He is a graduate of the University of Johannesburg and the Market photo workshop. Shalom was a participant of the Scotland + Venice Professional Development Program for the 59th Venice Biennale and has participated in a multitude of group shows locally and internationally. His interests in photography and multimodality in medium have informed an approach to his practice which often wrestles with (but is not limited to) the amorphous and ambiguous nature of ideas like nationhood and identity in South Africa.


Curated by: Shalom Mushwana and Callan Grecia


Participating Artists:

Boytchie Phillip Newman

Inga Somdyala

Lebo Kekana 

Cameron Platter

Luyanda Zindela

Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo

Kwazokuhle Pakhati

  • Daily entry to the exhibitions is free. The scheduled walkabouts have a minimal cost and booking is essential.
  • June 21, 2024
  • June 23, 2024
  • June 28, 2024