• Luyanda Zindela

    Luyanda Zindela
    • Artist Statement
      • “Ungabaphazamisi abantu abadala” (Don’t disturb the elders). An expression commonly used to dismiss children or those who are younger from a space that is dominated by elders, an expression designed to clearly indicate place of the youngster as being below the place of the elder. Frustration towards this dismissive attitude has grown in recent times.

        My works consist of drawings digitally placed into images sourced from government archives of the South African President's annual State of the Nation Address in 2013, the 1st state of the nation address I watched. The artworks serve as a metaphor for the encroachment of youth into these spaces that are said to be meant for ‘the elders’.
    • Biography
      • B.Tech Fine Art (Durban University Of Technology)

        Born in 1991, Luyanda Zindela is a young artist who was born, raised and currently lives and works in Durban, South Africa. He completed his BTech Degree in Fine art in 2012 and is currently studying towards his Master’s Degree at the Durban University of Technology. Luyanda was the recipient of the ABSA L’atelier Art Competition Merit Award in 2014, and became a fellow of the Ampersand Foundation’s artist’s-in-residency programme in New York in 2015.

        Selected Exhibitions:

        THAT ART FAIR 2016, The Palms, Cape Town

        ABSA l’atelier Art Competition 2014 Finalists Exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg

        ABSA l’atelier Art Competition 2013 Finalists Exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg
        ThereAfter Group Exhibition, DUT Gallery
        Sasol New Signatures Art Competition 2013 Finalists Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum

        Identify Me – Youth Exhibition, The BAT Centre
    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        I have a keen interest in digital media at the moment. I guess that the major entry point into digital media for me was photography. Kudzanai Chiurai, Mikhael Subotzky and Mohau Modisakeng were major influences when I started working with photographs, their ability to tell stories through their photographs was something I tried to emulate in my own work. My interests have now moved on to video games and virtual reality and their potential to become new mediums of artistic expression. One of my major sources of inspiration right now are digital artworks done by eBoy called pixoramas.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?

        A lot of the artists that I admire most are thankfully still alive. I guess that Gerard Bhengu would be the first name that comes to mind. Being a young black South African artist today has its fair share of challenges due to attitudes and perceptions of art as a career choice that continue to exist in the black African community, if these challenges still persist to this day, one can only imagine the kinds of challenges that Gerard must’ve faced, being a black South African artist in the early 20th century.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

        I haven’t been deeply impacted by any exhibition per se but there are two art related events that had a genuine impact on me as an artist. I personally love the experience of feeling really small or feeling like I’ve still got a long way to go as an artist, any experience that brings me back down to earth is an experience I enjoy.
        The first event that had such an effect on me was the Johannesburg Art Fair. I attended the 2012 edition of this event and it was my very first taste of the professional nature of the local art industry. The whole event was a major learning curve for me as a young artist, and it opened my mind to think or art making not only as a passion of mine, but also as a legitimate career choice. This experience also had a real effect on the art I produced from then onwards because I began to be more conscious about establishing quality standards for the art I produced since then.
        The second event that had a lasting effect on me was my first visit to MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Physically being able to see and experience the artworks that I had seen and read about in books was an amazing experience, but more than that, I was taken aback by the sheer scale of these spaces. Seeing artworks or installations that took up entire rooms or very large spaces. This experience really shifted the goal posts for me in terms of what I thought scale was before vs my idea of scale is now, it inspired me to be a bit more ambitious artistically and technically.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

        My art mostly draws from my own experiences as a person and my attempts to position myself in the spaces around me, I feel like my positioning is constantly changing and that my art basically chronicles that. Like most young contemporary artists, I’m also heavily inspired by pop-culture, and currently, my art draws from my keen interest in video games and the culture that surrounds video games.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?

        I usually go into the art making process already having a bit of a clear idea of the final product in my head, and so the process is basically working towards that image of the final product. Whilst I am open to ‘happy accidents’ and a bit of experimentation here and there, I feel that my art making process is at times a representation of me as a person, organized to the point of being a little rigid, but playful and irreverent at the same time.
        Most artists usually like to work with music playing in the background, I’m no different. I usually tend to play one song repeatedly for the duration of a session of work, I found that playing multiple songs breaks my concentration. I usually tend to choose songs or music that I can associate with a memory or an experience that I enjoyed, whether it be “Send me on my way” by Rusted Root (The theme song for the movie ‘Matilda’) or orchestral pieces from movie soundtracks (Hans Zimmer is a particular favorite of mine)

        What do you like most about being an artist?

        Being able to take an idea and turn it into a tangible, physical object, an object which can then be experienced by others as well as myself. A lot of artists gain satisfaction in the production process of their artworks. I’m personally at my happiest when an artwork is done, or when I’m far enough to be able to stop, look and reflect on what I’ve done. I also enjoy generating dialogue, so when I see a discussion, whether negative or positive, being sparked by the work I’ve produced, that discussion is a great source of satisfaction for me as an artist.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
        I like to take time away from art making to pursue my other interests, and more often than not, the time away actually helps to make me feel a little rejuvenated. These interests include spending time outdoors, playing sports, playing games, spending time with family and friends or even just having conversations with people, listening to people who have different experiences or views to mine. I just find it a lot more rewarding to have Art being a large piece of my life rather than it being my entire life. Having deadlines also helps too.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
        Winning one of the Merit Awards for the 2014 ABSA L’atelier competition, which then resulted in a month long residency in New York in 2015. Winning a merit award in what is probably the biggest art competition in country was a ‘pinch myself’ moment for me, I have had very little success before then in terms of trying to get my art career off the ground. Winning that award really served as a shot in the arm, and it renewed my desire to seriously pursue art as a genuine career choice. New York was also amazing because it really did serve to ignite my ambition, not just to seek success locally, but also internationally too.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
        Make a difference in the world? A question that I tend to shy away from. Making a difference in people’s lives? Yes! I’m a huge believer in collaborating with other artists and the sharing of opportunities, especially in an industry like this one where opportunities aren’t as abundant.

        What are your plans for the coming year?

        Working towards completing my Master’s Degree in fine art is the major goal for the year.