Abongile Sidzumo completed his degree in Fine Arts at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts in 2019. Sidzumo works with leather offcuts and repurposed materials to create works that reflect and interrogate humanity, the way we co-exist, and our relationship with nature; he revisits memories and connects them to spaces he has lived in as well as the everyday life of marginalized communities.
Leather is often associated with luxury, wealth, and power. Through his process of re-stitching and weaving this precious material, Sidzumo is proposing that we start thinking about repurposed materials, connecting it and his process of stitching to notions of healing trauma that has been inflicted on black communities during apartheid, in a sense, his practice also functions as a manner of interrogating the continuous healing of black communities in post-apartheid South Africa.
His work was shown in We’ve come to take you home, an exhibition of works recently acquired by the University of Cape Town. Sidzumo is a recipient of the Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize, which has afforded him a solo exhibition at Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg in 2020. In that same year, he was a runner-up for the Cassirer Welz award, hosted by Strauss & Co auctioneers. In 2021, Sidzumo participated in two group exhibitions, A Cloud Group Exhibition and The Oasis Group exhibition, both curated by Studio Nxumalo Contemporary. Recent accolades include the Gerald Sekoto award as part of the Absa L’Atelier 2021.