Hosting the finest contemporary art from Africa for the world.
The Stellenbosch Triennale is the brainchild of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust and it’s years of experience in enacting public art exhibitions in Stellenbosch. The Triennale takes public art in Stellenbosch to new heights in terms of it’s international reach, the scope and variety of the art to be showcased as well as it’s intention to place creativity in critical dialogue with society. The Triennale marks an intentional and purposeful attempt to use creativity, imagination and public space as a meeting point in engaging with the collective and distinctive milieu of our past, present and future existence and all it’s complexities- a place where we imagine futures.
The Stellenbosch Triennale aims to make Stellenbosch the primary destination of multi-disciplinary art in Africa by tapping into the creative impetus that is reverberating across the continent. The Triennale turns Stellenbosch into a curated public laboratory for creative expressions and engagements in response to society’s question’s now, then and there; what kind of people do we want to be? What relations to nature do we cherish? What knowledges and technologies do we deem appropriate? What aesthetic values do we hold? The Stellenbosch Triennale holds great promise of interesting horizons of possibility and shifts for the town of Stellenbosch and beyond.
The Stellenbosch Triennale emerges within a creative cultural renaissance in South Africa that has seen new public and private art institutions take shape with the Zeitz-MOCAA and the Norval Foundation in Cape Town and the Javett Art Centre in Pretoria being welcome additions. The Stellenbosch Triennale pulls threads from this existing ecosystem as well as adding to it by offering a different location that seeks to use the Triennale as a vehicle to re-imagine Stellenbosch as a creative city. Stellenbosch is internationally renowned for its natural beauty, history, culture, wine and educational institutions which have made it one of South Africa’s premier destinations.
What is a Triennale?
Italian meaning every three years. Triennale or biennale is most commonly used within the artworld to describe large-scale contemporary art exhibitions from select countries. Named after the town which hosts them. Over 600 biennales & triennales in the world, but none in southern Africa. Unlike art fairs or festivals, triennales/biennales are not commercial or sales-driven.
Khanyisile Mbongwa is Chief Curator of the Stellenbosch Triennale. She is a Cape Town-based independent curator, award winning artist and sociologist. She works with public space, interdisciplinary and performative practices, unpacking the socio-political, socio-economic, socio-racial, gender-queer and historical-contemporary complexities and nuances of the everyday. In 2018 she took up a curatorial research residency at CAT (Community Art Team), Cologne, Germany focusing on the public sphere, interventions and public policies. As a result, she curated BLUEPRINT: Where There’s Nowhere To Go, Where Is Home? Currently she works with the Norval Foundation as Adjunct Curator for Performative Practices and with Cape Town Carnival as Curatorial and Socio-Critical Development Advisor.
Bernard Akoi-Jackson is a Curator for the Stellenbosch Triennale. He is a Ghanaian artist who lives and works from Tema/Accra/Kumasi. His multi-disciplinary, audience-implicating installations and performative “pseudo-rituals”, have featured in exhibitions like An Age of Our Own Making (Reflection II) in Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde, Denmark (June 2016); Silence Between The Lines in Kumasi (2015); Material Effects, Eli and Edythe Broad Museum, East Lansing, USA (November 2015); WATA don PASS: Looking West, CCA, Lagos and Lillith Performance Studio, Malmö, Sweden (May 2015); Time, Trade and Travel, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; and Nubuke Foundation, East Legon, Accra, Ghana (August – October 2012 and November 2012 – February 2013).
Tigere Mike Mavura
Pieter J. Mathews
Asisipho Boniwe Msitho
Asisipho Boniwe Msitho is a researcher/assistant for the Stellenbosch Triennale education programme. She recently obtained her Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of Cape Town. Her interests include politics, literature, media, mental wellness and art. In 2017 Asisipho was a radio presenter on Radio Khaltsha, a community radio station started by a group of teenagers in Khayelitsha. She also has experience in spoken word poetry and writing. She is passionate about mental wellness and hopes to one day use media as a platform to investigate and/or educate herself and others about the links between social patterns and sociology.
Hanle Hill manages the tourism aspect of the Stellenbosch Triennale. She is a born and bred Stellenbosch boeremeisie (farm girl) who grew up on a local wine estate and is the garden guide at the nearby Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden. She combines her passion for nature, culture and the arts with her unique creative flair, providing experiences with local insights. Hanle is a cultural tour guide accredited by the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority. She has managed for a number of years an education outreach program called KickstART – Hope through Art & Design — on behalf of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust.
Leopold du Toit
Leopold du Toit is part of the Stellenbosch Triennale logistics team. He has worked as logistics manager at Kamers/Makers, a pop-up retail event where creative entrepreneurs and artisans come together for inspiration and support and to meet potential customers. He was part of the Cape Town Carnival organising team for seven years.
Jay Pather is the Curator of the Performance Art Festival of the Stellenbosch Triennale. He is a celebrated South African curator and choreographer. Based in Cape Town, he directs the Institute for Creative Arts, curates Infecting the City Public Art Festival and the ICA Live Art Festival. He also curates for Afrovibes in the Netherlands, for the Bienal de las Artes del Cuerpo, Imagen y Movimiento de Madrid and for Africa 2020 in France. He has co-curated for Spielart in Munich and has been Adjunct Curator for Performance at the Zeitz MOCAA. He chaired the jury for the International Award for Public Art, was appointed Fellow at the University of London and was recently made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. He recently published a book, Transgressions, Live Art in South Africa with Catherine Boulle. Recent articles appear in Changing Metropolis ll, Rogue Urbanism, Performing Cities and Where Strangers Meet.
Pieter J. Mathews
Pieter J Mathews is the Event Architect of the Stellenbosch Triennale. He is the principal of Mathews and Associates Architects, a multi-award-winning firm in Pretoria, South Africa. He is an alumnus of the University of Pretoria and did practical training in London after which he travelled the world. He served as President of the Pretoria Institute for Architecture from 2013 to 2014. In 2013 the Andrew W. Mellon foundation invited Pieter, as part of a study group from the University of Pretoria, to visit various galleries and museums in New York and surrounds. He was appointed as the curator of the South African Pavilion for the 2016 La Biennale di Venezia and has since also completed a Masters degree at the University of Free State on the topic of curation. He was instrumental in the development of the Javett-UP Art Centre in Pretoria. He regularly acts as external examiner at various South African architecture schools and has published two successful books on architectural theory. He has also designed bespoke furniture pieces for Southern Guild – one of South Africa’s most prestigious sculpture guilds.
Rashieda Witter is a researcher for the Stellenbosch Triennale. She is currently undertaking a master’s degree in History of Art at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her thesis examines the black feminist tradition of visual activism and focuses on overlooked narratives of black female artists. Rashieda lectures third year fine art students for the Wits History of Art department.
Silas Miami is Adjunct Curator for the film section of the Stellenbosch Triennale. He is a Kenyan storyteller and founding Director of TEN TIMES HALF, a Cape -Town-based film production company. He has directed, written and co-written several film projects, including SUPAMODO (2018) [Berlinale, Kenya’s Official Submission to the 91st Academy Awards]. He holds a BA in Motion Picture from AFDA: The School for the Creative Economy (Summa Cum Laude – Valedictorian 2016) and a BA Hons. in Film Studies from the University of Cape Town (First Class) where he is currently pursuing a MA in Media Theory and Practice as a Mandela-Rhodes scholar. Silas acts as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Film and Media Studies. He is also a celebrated recording artist and the author of an award-winning photographic monograph: ONTHOU ATLANTIS.
Storytelling has been passed down to him through generations, as part of his genetic heritage. He hopes to distil, package and showcase narratives that celebrate identity and cultural ownership as forms of resistance and celebration. He is currently in development with a few projects, chief among them being his feature directorial debut, 2065, in partnership with the KZN Film Commission. Silas is a proud participant in this year’s Realness Residency cycle and an embarrassingly devout member of the BeyHive.