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Shonisani Netshia 2

Name: Shonisani Netshia
Location: 125, FADA Building Bunting Road Campus
FADA Visual Art Permanent Academic Staff  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: +27(0)11 559 1388


About Ms. Shonisani Netshia

About Shonisani Netshia

​​Year Leader: 1st Year

Module Leader: Painting

Lectures in:

Painting I, II & III

Studio Practice III & IV

Postgraduate Studies​​

Qualifications: NDip (Fine Art) (UJ), Btech (Fine Art) (UJ), Mtech (Fine Art) (UJ),

Short bio: Shonisani Netshia lectures in painting at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg. In most of her works she uses Isishweshwe fabric, and crocheted doilies as a visual references in the production of large to small scale paintings. In these, she explores how, through painterly alteration and transformation, shifts can occur in the meanings of patterns derived from these culturally-loaded sources. In her recent works she negotiates her role as a homemaker, nurturer, working mom, and wife by drawing from a selection of ‘culturally-loaded’ objects from her mother’s home. These objects symbolize and carry with them a sense of nostalgia from a specific era in her mother’s life, and hers. In 2018 she co-curated the Christo Coetzee exhibition titled: The safest Place is the Knife’s Edge with Wilhelm van Rensburg at the Standard Bank Gallery. She took part in a residency at Projekthof Karnitz in Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Germany in 2021 with a group of nine artists from Africa, Latin America and Europe who came together as part of the documenta fifteen residency. The culmination of the body of work produced titled Water Bodies – Narratives of the Anthropocene was exhibited in Berlin at MaHalla. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Johannesburg. Her PhD research explores the visual manifestation of black respectability within the home as a domestic environment, through the use of objects such as ornaments, tea sets, and crocheted doilies in particular.

Recent Publications:

  • 2018: SOTL in the South: Co-authored article with K. Berman. Title: Enlivening pedagogical methods in the classroom through visual arts. Vol 4. Issue 1. pp.4-20.
  • 2017: Image & Text: Special Edition: “The same but not quite”: Respectability, creative agencies and self-expression in black middle-class Soweto homes

 Recent Conference Papers:

  • “The broom as a signifier of femininity and domesticity in South African homes, traditional African wedding ceremonies, and marriage: Unpacked through Usha Seejarim’s Transgressing Power”. Hitting Home: Representations of the Domestic Milieu in Feminist Art conference. University of Johannesburg 14-17 November 2022.
  • “Material Narratives through objects of Forgotten Utility”. The Materiality of Everyday Life in Africa: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective (Part V). 6th Annual Lagos Studies Association Conference (June 21-25. Virtual. Lagos/West-Central Africa Time).
  • Material Narratives in the works of Igshaan Adams and Anthony Bumhira. Material Narratives Representations of Public and Private Histories in Cloth. NRF Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture at the University of Conference.
  • “The same but not quite”: Respectability, creative agencies and self-expression in black middle-class Soweto homes. ASAUK, Birmingham.
  • Unpacking notions of African ‘authenticity’ in parodies of Shweshwe and Batik fabrics. SAVAH, Stellenbosch.
  • International Conference on SOTL in the South. Title: Enlivening pedagogical methods in the classroom through visual arts.
  • 31st Annual SAVAH conference: Rethinking Art History and Visual Culture in a contemporary context. Co-presented with Prof Kim Berman. Title: Animating citizenship in the classroom.
  • Intimate Archives// Autobiographical Acts. Personal surfacing’s as expressed through material culture programme. Title: From My Mother’s Closet. 4-5 August 2016.

Selected Recent Group Exhibitions & Curatorial Projects

  • Water Bodies – Narratives of the Anthropocene Group Show. MaHalla Berlin, 19-21 August 2022.
  • Co-Curator of The Safest Place is the Knife’s Edge: Christo Coetzee (1929-2000). Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.
  • Ceramic plate exhibition curated by Gordon Froud. Arts Association Pretoria
  • I Objekt: curated by Gordon Froud, Art it is Gallery. Johannesburg
  • Performing Wo/Man group show, curated by Derek Zietsman, NWU Gallery, North West
  • Assistant curator of Special South African works at Beijing Biennale