11 April 2023 - 11 July 2023
Bulumko Mbete, born in 1995, is a Joburg based artist and writer with multicultural heritage. Mbete completed her BFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. She undertakes research in different forms of craft/design making. These methodologies are predominantly performed by women in Southern Africa. Bulumko is interested in materiality; through using textile, beading, natural dyeing and weaving; she creates a framework to communicate generational traditions and gestures of love. Mbete’s interests expand into ways of engaging with the archive and using the archive for creative storytelling. In this pursuit, she uses archival matter such as photographs, textiles, and clothes. She explores the geographic connections and synchronicities within her family in relation to South African history, and its effect on migration, labour, farming and love.
I approach into my practice by using the symbiotics held by textiles, beads and weaving techniques. I pair this with the use of photography and audio. So much of our history on the continent is still being written and recovered, material culture is a big part of knowledge production and the continuation of oral traditions. I find myself drawn to memory as a site of remembrance, history, and longing. Remembering can be considered a radical act. As a strong believer in generational transmissions of psychological and physiological experiences, there is a longing that stems from reflecting on the memory of others through oral tradition. These are often translated into craft, design and art.
The Award is made possible with the support of Strauss & Co. Education and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)