Kutlwano Monyai – Young Womxn Studio Bursary

01 OCT 2021 – 30 SEP 2022

The Bag Factory is delighted to announce that Kutlwano Monyai and Princia Matungulu have been selected as joint recipients of the annual Young Womxn Studio Bursary, funded by Bag Factory alumni artist Sam Nhlengethwa. They will share a fully funded studio bursary at the Bag Factory for twelve months from 01 October 2021 to 30 September 2022.

Impressed with both artists’ work and noting how well the previous winners, Cheriese Dilrajh and Hemali Khoosal, worked as co-recipients, we decided to repeat the offer for the bursary to two promising womxn artists for another year.

Kutlwano uses familiar materials that resonates with her life experiences and has over the years mastered her style of painting and mixed materials experiments which germinated from the obsession of maps.

Kutlwano Monyai, born in 1996, in Limpopo, South Africa, has a degree in Fine and Applied Arts from the Tshwane University of Technology (2018). She is currently practicing as a full time artist, art researcher and a writer. Kutlwano has exhibited in a number of group shows which includes the 2016 Top 100 for Thami Mnyele Awards, The Hybrid Culture in 2016 at Tut Gallery, Abstraction Through Figuration at Art Lovers in 2017, Joburg Fringe in 2018 at the Project Space, “The Genesis” 2018 hosted at the Pretoria Art Museum and later at the BKhz studios, Turbine Art Fair 2019 with UNTITL’D collective, KASRP Exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2019.

Kutlwano was an education assistant at the Pretoria Art Museum from 2017 to 2019 and has exhibited with She Impressions under their 2021 “She empowered project”. She participated in the Beads & Air (Art In Residency) at Modern Arts Project South Africa in May 2021 and was recently selected for the 2021 Collection of the Artist Solidarity Assistance Project (ASAP), run by the Candice Berman Initiative. She is now represented by the Candice Berman Gallery.

Artists Statement 

Monyai uses familiar materials that resonates with her life experiences and has over the years mastered her style of painting and mixed material experiments which germinated from the obsession of maps. Coming from a place where most people strongly believe in ancestral bondage, that is what has been the driving factor in her work hence, she digs up and unpack the historical layers of where she and the generations before her came from and how they lived within their spiritual circles. This bondage is aligned with physical, spiritual and emotional connections to places of birth, to those that people evolve to occupy and make their own. It comes as a form of communication through dreams and that’s where she developed the need to investigate the methodologies of dream interpretations in order to better understand the complexities of human relations with their environment, cultural believes, general human intuitions. It is a journey impacting the psychological paradigm, socio-conventional systems and family dynamics. She has taken maps as a metaphorical site for her to investigate and interpret these elements of her life experiences using the familiar materials to recognize and acknowledge the abstract relationships to eventually be able to denote and narrate events through their spaces and time.