Nandipha Mntambo (born Swaziland, 1982) currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.
She received a BFA from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa) in 2005 and an MFA from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa) in 2007.
Mnatmbo was awarded, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art (South Africa) in 2011, BHP Billiton/Wits University Visual Arts Fellowship (South Africa) in 2010, and a Brett Kebble Art Award (South Africa) in 2005.
She has been included in the 17th Biennale of Sydney (Sydney, Australia) in 2010, DAK’ART 2010, 9th Biennal of Contemporary Art (Dakar, Senegal) in 2010, and Bamako Encounters, African Photography Biennial (Bamako, Mali) in 2009.
Mnatambo has had solo exhibitions at Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Bloemfontein, South Africa) in 2012, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) in 2011, and at the North-West University Art Gallery (Potchefstroom, South Africa) in 2011.
She has been included in international group exhibitions at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki, Finland) in 2011, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art (Atlanta, USA) in 2009, and The San Diego Museum of Art (San Diego, USA) in 2008.
Her work is in major public and private collections around the world, including the collections of The Iziko South African National Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa), the National Museum of African Art Collection, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, USA), and the Zeitz Collection (Montricher, Switzerland).
“When I began to think about the subject of peace, the words that came to mind were harmony and cohesion. With this concept in place, the naturally occurring phenomenon of flocking of birds caught my attention.
A flock’s movement is governed by rules of alignment, separation and cohesion. Flocks of birds move in an extremely coordinated way, creating complex motion and multifaceted patterns that form undulating shapes in the sky. The rules of attraction and repulsion keep the flock together—flying in unison.
Playing with light and shadow, attraction and repulsion I have created a film that explores the boundary of reality and fiction. Using the Gariep Dam as a backdrop for the video, I have created a piece that is composed of a flock of origami swallows that are animated to a ninety second solo piano piece by composer and musician Clare Loveday.
This work is an interesting extension of the ‘push and pull’ between peace and war.”