SMAC Art Gallery 01

Senzeni Marasela


Untitled 2012, Hand-stitched fabric,


Untitled 2011, Sewn thread on cotton cloth, 43 x 45 cm

Dressing Sarah (first part of triptych 'Shielding Sarah From The Cold 1-3')

Dressing Sarah (first part of triptych 'Shielding Sarah From The Cold 1-3') 2009, Cotton cloth, cotton and wool thread, satin ribbon, 22x 21 inches each


'Beyond Booty: Covering Sarah Baartman and other tales'

Senzeni Marasela at Axis Gallery (New Jersey)

In her new body of work, Senzeni Marasela uses needlework to make pointed connections between living memory within her own family and the scandalous history of Sarah Baartman. In addressing Sarah’s history, Marasela considers her own mother’s physical abuse and terror of the big city as a site of racism and segregation, and her own challenges as a mother working in the city today.

As a child, Marasela watched her mother find refuge in needlework, always using red thread, as if to suture the secret wounds that psychologically inhibited her from mothering. Marasela’s embroidered cloths and servant’s dresses needle painful truths and memories to the surface, yet they read as caring gestures that provide cover and redress, and hold the hope of healing histories written in blood. They also prick the collective conscience, because the audience is always implicated.

25 September 2010 - 31 October 2010

'20 Years: Thami Mnyele Foundation'

Dineo Seshee Bopape, Zanele Muholi, Mustafa Maluka, Senzeni Marasela and Various Artists at Thami Mnyele Foundation

Twenty years ago, inspired by the South African artist and freedom fighter Thami Mnyele (1948-1985), a group of Amsterdam-based artists and concerned citizens set up an artists-in-residence programme, enabling artists from Africa the opportunity to live and work in Amsterdam for a period of three months. The atelier that the Thami Mnyele Foundation made available continues to be a vibrant meeting place for artists from Africa and the Netherlands.

The Thami Mnyele Foundation together with the CBK has selected the work of 26 artists out of the 68 artists that have been working in the studio over the last twenty years. This choice gives a glimpse into the diversity of contemporary art practices coming out of Africa. The exhibited works were made by the artists and donated to the Thami Mnyele Foundation during their stay in Amsterdam.

South African artists feature particularly strongly on the exhibition, which includes: Dineo Seshee Bopape, Clifford Charles, Ruan Hoffmann, Senzeni Marasela, Mustafa Maluka, Zaneli Muholi, John Murray, Progress Matubako, Sheppard Mtyshelwa, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Thulani Songwe, Adriaan de Villiers, Tito Zungu and Ina van Zyl.

12 March 2011 - 29 April 2011

'Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now'

Sue Williamson, John Muafangejo, Cameron Platter, Sandile Goje, Senzeni Marasela, William Kentridge, Kudzanai Chiurai, Claudette Schreuders and Bitterkomix at MoMA

During the oppressive years of apartheid rule in South Africa, not all artists had access to the same opportunities. But far from quashing creativity and political spirit, these limited options gave rise to a host of alternatives—including studios, print workshops, art centers, schools, publications, and theaters open to all races; underground poster workshops and collectives; and commercial galleries that supported the work of black artists—that made the art world a progressive environment for social change. Printmaking, with its flexible formats, portability, relative affordability, and collaborative environment, was a catalyst in the exchange of ideas and the articulation of political resistance.

Drawn entirely from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, 'Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now' features nearly 100 posters, books, and wall stencils created over the last five decades that demonstrate the exceptional reach, range, and impact of printmaking during and after a period of enormous political upheaval. From the earliest print in the exhibition, made in 1965 (the Museum’s first acquisition of work by a South African artist), to printed posters from the height of the antiapartheid movement in the 1980s, to projects by a younger generation that reflect new and evolving artistic concerns, these works are striking examples of printed art as a tool for social, political, and personal expression.

23 March 2011 - 14 August 2011

Sarah, Theodorah and Senzeni in Johannesburg

Senzeni Marasela at Gallery AOP

Senzeni Marasela’s exhibition 'Sarah, Theodorah and Senzeni in Johannesburg' comprises a new series of embroidered cloths and red ink drawings. Following her previous two exhibitions ('Theodorah and other women', 2005, and 'Witness', 2009) Marasela continues to visualize and mythologize her personal and social personae in her new work.

The unfolding drama in Marasela’s new work portrays scenes in which a naked Sarah Baartman is clothed by Theodorah and Senzeni, in the presence of various onlookers. Subsequently, the three women are depicted in various locations in Johannesburg, observing daily life in the city.

11 June 2011 - 25 June 2011