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Entsizwa is a mountain in the Eastern Cape. It is situated in the Alfred Nzo District. The mountain faces Sugarbush village, which is my home. The artworks are positioned as wooden door frames with an interpretation of the mountain in the paintings. When creating these artworks, I found myself in moments of contemplation, where there are lingering more intensely filled with silence when looking out (the door) at the scenery of Ntsizwa. In the summer there is a lot of rain, thunder, and lightning in my village. As kids, we were told to sit still and be quiet until the storm passes. Looking out the door, Ntsizwa will be glistening with water running down its dark form.

A.L.V and Cristina Karrer take the realms of this instalment and excavate the complex nuances that shape Philiswa Lila. Beginning with her beadwork of Love Letters, Self Portraits and prayers; shifting to the University of Johannesburg The GendV project of A Bed Called Home, travelling to The Melrose Gallery where her piece, Ilokwe yeKresmesi: Ndiyamensa mama (The Red Dress) is on display; writing love letters to her dearest Nogolide, which expresses an aged old tradition of intimate self-reflecting; circling inwards amaXhosa redness of her Umcimbi (Ritual) series; and coming back home to her mother’s hymn in the ICA Online Fellowship Virtual Performance, Ukuzala, Ukuzelula (To give birth is to stretch myself).
The Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

3 April 2020

AT Feature: Skin, Bone, Fire: The First Album exhibition by Philiswa Lila at NWU Main Gallery | Art Times | NWU Main Gallery


May – June 2021