Manyaku Mashilo is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist who creates mixed media, paper-based drawings, and works. Portraits, landscapes, and inspirations from cartography play an important role in Mashilo’s work. Mashilo’s works offer a perspective on self-representation, desire, geography, and spirituality. For Mashilo, it is important to visualize black identities with agency, compassion, and humanity, and create an accurate archive of who we are and how we choose to identify as black bodies today. Mashilo aims to capture intimate settings and use these as a gateway to ponder the complexities of black existence. Mashilo’s work explores complex associations with a journey by providing a symbolic language, gatherings, and notes to the traveler.
Mashilo has exhibited widely across South Africa. Solo presentations include: "The Possibility of a Journey", curated by Tammy Langtry as part of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in 2020; "There’s an Exhibition in My Kitchen" at Breaking Bread in 2019, and Beauty | Skin | Beholder at The New Heritage Museum in 2017 both in Cape Town. Group exhibitions include She Impressions at the Project Space in Johannesburg in 2019; "Sunday Service" at GUS in Stellenbosch and "The Numbers Exhibition" at Hazard Gallery in Johannesburg both in 2018; La Gravitas at La Provence Gallery in Franschhoek in 2017. In 2020, Mashilo presented her most recent body of work at 99 Loop Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa.