Buqaqawuli Nobakada (b. 2000) is an emerging contemporary mixed media artist born in the Western Cape and raised between Phililipi and a remote village in Lady Frere, Eastern Cape. Nobakada was first introduced to Fine Art in Johannesburg in the beginning of her adolescence. Her primary medium is acrylic paint on laced paper, often with the use of custom clay or gold jewellery; wherein much of the passion in her work is expressed as she celebrates border crossings that take place in the imagination, the mind as well as in real life. Buqaqawuli Nobakada studied Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand and is partaking in the “I Am & Nothing Else,” group exhibition with Affinity art gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. She has also exhibited in the “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt” Open City group exhibition by FNB Art Joburg and the SOMA exhibition in France.

Buqaqawuli Nobakada’s mixed media works are poignant expressions of the Black, female experience. Her works define what it means to be a woman – that contemplative, tender resolve that embodying femininity often asks of us, and what it means to take up space, and the responsibility of this. For Buqaqawuli, her forthright purpose as an artist is to craft imagery that younger girls may see, especially Black girls, and realise that those foregrounds are precisely the spaces that they can inhabit. In our conversation below, Buqaqawuli’s retrospection of her work depicts the precise and critical need that art serves; art is not frivolous, it is an inherent requirement for shifting, healing and articulating the consciousness of human beings. On the matter of who she paints for, Buqaqawuli describes why her recents works showcase luxury settings, “I had a conversation with a cousin of mine who comes from  the context I started in and I remember telling her I wanted a house with an infinity pool and she didn’t understand what that was, and I decided that that’s the kind of thing I want to paint. She’s never seen someone that looks like her in that sort of space, owning or existing around those kind of things so she can’t dream it or work towards it because even if she looks through a magazine with luxury homes, the little white picket fence family in the magazine doesn’t look like her or anyone in  her immediate surrounding so she grows up thinking she doesn’t deserve to live like that or she  doesn’t belong there: that’s the thing I want to change. That’s why I paint the girls in the fast cars and lace fronts, so my younger self can dream.”

2000 -
Nationality: South African
Residence: OOVOOKOO
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