“Exploring the construction of identity within post-apartheid South African society, [Mary] Sibande’s work probes the stereotypical contextualization of the black female body.

The imaginary life of ‘Sophie’ is collated through a series of human scale sculptures – moulded on Sibande herself – appearing to be the genomics avatars of the artist psychosis….

By the magical intervention of some fairy Godmother, ‘Sophie’ transforms into a myriad of epic characters. A lady heading to a ball, a Victorian queen riding her horse, a general leading an army towards victory, a Pope blessing a congregation of fictional devotees or a conductor waving his wand to the beat of a muted symphony. There’s even a hint to modern day fictional heroes the likes of Superman.

Confronting the very inkling of a disempowered African female entity, her work aims to crack the morse code associated to western ideals of beauty and how they can appeal to black women.”


South African born Mary Sibande, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for visual art, poses in front of her digital pigment print , A terrible beauty, at the Monument Gallery in Grahamstown, The name of the exhibition is called “Purple Shall Govern” derived of the Apartheid Era where boere police used to spray the masses with purple dye…


Long Live The Dead Queen

By South African visual artist Mary Sibande

Mary lives and works in Johannesburg and her Johannesburg Art City World Premiere Annual Exhibition Premiere. 'Long Live The Dead Queen’ launch in 2010 to coincide with the World Cup and consisted of 19 giant billboards (building-wraps) placed around inner-city Jo'burg converting the city into a gallery.