Introducing V&A Waterfront’s Artist Alliance — an incubation and development programme for fresh, young creative talent that started in June 2021. The programme focuses on five creative disciplines: fine art, photography, film, illustration and design.
In addition to hands-on creative mentorship, each participating artist recieved essential business skills such as marketing, pitching for new business and running social media platforms.
The programme aims to provide ongoing support for young artists, and follows on from the success the V&A has achieved with its other incubator programmes such as the Buskers Programme and, more recently, the Makers Landing incubation programme.
The initiative is the precursor to a thriving creative community that leverages business opportunities from the surrounding community, and creates shared value for everyone – from artists themselves to the V&A Waterfront, its tenants and other business partners.
V&A Waterfront Marketing Executive Tinyiko Mageza says, “Art is not just for mansions. Artists need spaces and places to amplify their voice, and public spaces need art to expand cultural awareness, stimulate the imagination, and provoke dialogue. But first young creatives need a nurturing ecosystem. They need a safe space in which they can easily access information, develop essential business skills, and connect with other like-minded creatives, markets and industry leaders.
“Through the mentorship and incubation programme the V&A Waterfront Artist Alliance wants to bring creative young people, ideas and ingenuity together to get creative juices flowing. It’s a symbiotic relationship in which emerging artists receive mentoring from creative industry leaders based at the Waterfront, they also have access to our Waterfront business community, which in turn will have access to fresh young creative talent.”
Meet the incredible graduates…
Thando ‘Mboma’ Phenyane
Thando is a two-time Architectural graduate, currently completing his Masters at the University of Cape Town.
In his art and illustration, the used object takes a slightly more ubiquitous position. He strongly believes in the beauty of trivial everyday objects when incorporated into conceptually driven visual concepts.
The premise of his vocation as a design practitioner is to make accessible design ideas and interventions that are of benefit to communities who are deserving of these ideas.
To make beautiful things and to make things that work. In this, he finds pleasure in putting forward prospects and the potential for agency in the way that users engage his work.
Pia Truscott is a South African artist currently in her third year at Michaelis School of Fine Arts. She is also majoring in Anthropology. She matriculated from Westerford High School in 2017 and did freelance illustration work. In 2019, she enrolled at Michaelis with printmaking and painting as her majors.
She has been a co-creator of a four-part series called Connecting through Creativity. These exhibition events have sought to celebrate and showcase the work of emerging artists.
Her combined love of anthropology and art creates an enthusiasm to unite people through art. Pia exhibited in Turbine’s recent ‘Paper’ exhibition (2020). Her abstract work is mainly inspired by nature. She aims to create empathy between humans and nature by using colours and forms that evoke the natural world.
Nkhuwemi Kumwenda is a Malawian visual artist based in Cape Town. She is studying Fine Art at Ruth Prowse School of Art and is in her final year.
Her passion is illustration in both digital and traditional media. She leans towards the realm of fantasy and whimsy with her work.
Nkhuwemi has always loved being immersed in another world through storybooks, novels and comics. This is what has pushed her interest in creating interesting and captivating ideas.
Nkhuwemi is always looking for ways to tell a story through her art. She is happy to share her art knowledge and is hopeful that the future will bring her many opportunities in her home country Malawi.
She plans to publish a number of comic books in the future as well as pick up animation skills.
Mbhali Manzini is a 28-year-old designer and illustrator currently working in the design and advertising industry in Cape Town.
In 2015, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication at The Open Window Institute. This is where she was scouted by several advertising agencies, which lead to her journey of working with brands such as Samsung, Standard Bank, Ricoffy, Boity Signature, Scorpion Legal Protection and Dickies to name a few.
Towards the end of 2017, Mbhali started posting her illustrations on social media which got positive feedback and people started asking for personalised illustrations, which inspired her to start her own brand, named ForMeByMe.
FoMeByMe is about self-love and appreciation in today’s world, where we are very quick to idolize celebrities and forget to appreciate, embrace and celebrate ourselves. Her brand has personalised illustrated phone cases, t-shirts, portraits and laptop stickers.
She was selected as Design Indaba’s Emerging Creative and was nominated to showcase her work for Sasol Signature artist 2019.
Mikhailia Petersen is an Independent Practitioner and has worked as an Artist, Creative Director, Stylist and Stills Producer for over five years.
Since October 2018, Mikhailia has actively participated in the Association for Visual Arts Gallery’s installation programme.
Her work has been in print, a double cover of Afrostyle Magazine 2020 and has had a featured documentary editorial in Nataal Magazine 2019. She featured on online platforms such as VICE/ID, Manju Journal, Fucking Young, Bubblegum Club and Also Journal.
Mikhailia was a top three finalist for the ORMS Mentorship Programme 2019 for photography. She has exhibited work at three group shows such as Eclectica Contemporary, Ava Gallery and GUS Gallery in December 2018.
Owethu Mentoor is an advertising graduate with a NC in Advertising, majoring in digital content creation and copywriting. He grew up in Gugulethu, Cape Town and was raised by his aunt, Monica Mentoor and her two daughters, Pamela and Nomonde Mentoor.
Owethu started as a blogger under the name PoseZA on blogspot covering most of Cape Town VIP events and launches and reviewed dozens of hotels and restaurants, including the opening of Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Guess, Alphen Hotel, Chinchilla, and Zenzero.
He is currently working in the Marketing Department of RealFoodsGroup for Kauai and creative director and social media manager for Owam Origin.
Owam is a genderless, sustainable, fashion brand that offers a lifestyle of timeless gender fluid and inclusive vintage fashion options.
Owam Origin has been collectors of vintage items for the longest time. They enjoy vintage clothing specifically because they feel that the craftsmanship and quality in the clothing is a unique selling point on its own. They enjoy being able to have an item that is one of a kind, that you can have in your closet for a lifetime, which also touches on the sustainability element that they are passionate about.
What sets us apart from their fellow vintage brands is that they offer a tailoring service with a quick turnaround timescale and styling service.
Nqaba Shakes Fatman Mbolekwana
Nqaba is a visual artist and documentary photojournalist from the Eastern Cape.
He attended high school in Cape Town before relocating to Johannesburg, where he studied an advanced programme in photography at the Market Photo Workshop.
Since childhood, Nqaba took on painting as an expressive practice to illustrate his surroundings and portray his inner state of mind and spirit. Over time, his work has featured acrylics, oil paints, and mixed media works of art.
He has been exploring the cognitive processes which flow through one’s senses when holding a camera, composing a shot, and landing a frame. Beyond addressing social issues, Nqaba has been keen to dive into the underlying layers of power, identity, romance, fear, and faith as distinct yet inseparable dimensions of the large picture he strives to capture through photography.
In 2020, he was accepted into the Canon student development program held in France, Perpignan, which formed part of the Visa pour L’image festival. He was also accepted for a portfolio review with Vogue Italia as part of the Photo Vogue Festival held in Italy, but due to Covid-19 everything was done digitally and online.
Simthembile Twala is from Johannesburg, but based in Cape Town. He attended Market Photo Workshop. He completed his internship at Glowhire, where they taught him how to use equipment. He also taught students how to use the studio lights and how to pack them.
Simthembile did a lot of assisting as a photographer and now he is comfortable enough to call himself a photographer.
Joshua Paulse also known as Jozua Gerrard
Jozua Gerrard is a 19-year-old young creative who lives and works in Cape Town.
He has worked with multiple galleries including Art Bureau Collective, WorldArt, and The Southern Guild which allowed him to enter the Cape Town art scene and begin exploring his potential and voice as an artist.
Currently, his work is mainly paintings, sculptures, and digital work. He is extremely interested in the design process and is slowly branching out into different facets to see how far his designs could go. His work generally reflects his personal experiences in dealing with depression, anxiety, and his journey in discovering his sexual identity.
He created pieces for various exhibitions over the last year, including two solo shows, multiple group shows, and features on the art website Latitudes, Artsy, and First Thursdays Cape Town.
Zilungile Hanise is a 29-year-old Designer, mainly focusing on textile design and illustrations.
Her goal is to gain the practical experience and the Design business skills needed in order to grow and sustain her business, Uhambo Concepts, a homeware design company that she founded in July 2020.
As a young girl, Zilungile has always been interested in drawing and design and at the age of 19, went to study Interior Design at Inscape Educational Group where she graduated in 2015. While studying, she discovered a love for photography, furniture and textile design.
After graduating, she became a freelance Photographer and Logo Designer for two years.
In 2018, she worked for a construction company where she was able to learn the basics of all the disciplines that work together to sustain a business. In November 2020, Zilungile was part of a group of artists that exhibited their work in a Photography exhibition hosted by Chosi with the help of Mandela Bay municipality to help re-ignite the art industry in Gqeberha.
Richard Average is a 25 year-old creative from Macassar, Somerset-West.
He specialises in illustration, but does so much more. Having graduated top of his design class at Ruth Prowse School of Art in 2016, Richard has been exploring the street culture that exists in Cape Town.
He was the 2016 Webprinter Creative Award Winner and since then he exhibited at the 2017 Design Indaba as one of the Emerging Creatives of South Africa, and also working full time for a year for one of the biggest retailers in South Africa in 2018.
He has done work with the well-renowned brand, Puma South Africa. His art and design are inspired by his surroundings and the things that interest him, having a deep passion for music, mental health and fashion has all played a role in his creative process.
Richard is a passionate creative that believes in experimenting and having and believing in one self. The skilful and unrestricted use of colour in his creations is not only a reflection of his personality, but also serves as an ode to the creative nature of Capetonian youth.
Kholosani Somhlahlo is a 29-year-old, living in Cape Town.
He is a fashion designer and obtained a qualification in clothing production in 2016.
He has been making clothes since 2015 for local clients. His brand is gender fluid and accommodates everyone.
Kholosani is eager to learn and understand more about the business side of fashion.