Sizwe Sama

Sizwe Sibisi (b.1987) is a visual artist from Kwa-Zulu Natal who taught himself about art thanks to his local library in Pietermaritzburg and the Tatham Art Gallery. He originally trained as a nurse but has recently become a full-time artist.

“My work celebrates and honors the LGBTQI+ community and Single Mothers. The colorfulness and layering calls to mind ‘confetti’ which signifies celebration and festivity at PRIDE marches and events. The various colors are me sprinkling some confetti onto the downtrodden members of our society. The consistent D shape signifies the profile of a pregnant woman’s stomach. Oftentimes a woman is left to raise her young alone, which is a huge struggle, yet they manage beautifully.

Nonbinary groups and women are subjected to a wide lack of acceptance, ridicule, and violence. I reflect on this in the intricate patterns of my artworks. Hand-stitching is a part of my art-making process, as it reminds me of my mother doing mending for my brother and I growing up. She’s worked as a seamstress for most of her life. She’s been taking care of my brother and me by using her hands to stitch. The way I look at it is, women do a good job stitching society together.

South Africa as a society has a long way to go in terms of normalizing and accepting the non-binary. I hope through my work I will shift paradigms and inspire change" - Sizwe Sibisi, September 2020.

Works in the collection