Mbali Dhlamini

b. 1990

Biography

Mbali Dhlamini is a multidisciplinary artist and visual researcher whose work explores the decolonisation of contemporary African identity-making. She performs visual, tactile and discursive investigations into current indigenous cultural practices. Her work is in constant conversation with her past and present visual landscapes. Working to maintain a state of unlearning and relearning, her process recognizes language as a medium of understanding and as a repository of knowledge.

Her works from the series Look Into are digitally reworked colonial portraits of West-Africans wearing traditional clothing and stem from a research fellowship at the RAW Material Company in Dakar (Senegal), investigating the cultural significance of traditional indigo dyeing and the symbolism of indigo fabric within indigenous Senegalese communities to open discussions about knowledge systems and the importance of indigenous philosophies in contemporary societies. Dhlamini was able to continue this research in 2021 through her residency at Kehinde Wiley's Black Rock Senegal.

Mbali Dhlamini trained as a printmaker at Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg from 2008 to 2009 and received a National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology in Visual Arts from the University of Johannesburg in 2013 and 2014, respectively. While working towards a Master of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand between 2014 and 2015, Dhlamini explored faith and spirituality through the use of colour in Apostolic and Zionist movements. In 2015, her graduate solo exhibition "Non-Promised Land: Bana Ba Thari Entsho" was hosted at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg.

Mbali Dhlamini has participated in art exhibitions in South Africa and abroad, including at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in 2014, the Beijing Biennale in 2015, and the European Cultural Center during the Venice Biennale in 2019. Most recently, her work was acquired by the Daimler Art Collection and is currently on view in their exhibition "Friendship. Nature. Culture." which opened in October last year. She is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Education

Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

2022

2015

Group Exhibitions

2021

2020

2019

2018

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2009

2008


Works

Mbali Dhlamini: Bugubedu I

Bugubedu I

Photograph

2020

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 70 cm

39 3/8 x 27 3/5 in

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Bugubedu II

Bugubedu II

Photograph

2020

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 70 cm

39 3/8 x 27 3/5 in

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Ya fanang ka seatla se bulehileng otla hlonolofatswa

Ya fanang ka seatla se bulehileng otla hlonolofatswa

Photograph

2020

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 70 cm

39 3/8 x 27 3/5 in

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Meetlo

Meetlo

Photograph

2020

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

70 x 101 cm

27 3/5 x 39 3/4 in

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: An Ode to ukuhlamba I

An Ode to ukuhlamba I

Photograph

2021

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

70 x 110 cm

27 3/5 x 43 3/10 in

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: An Ode to ukuhlamba II

An Ode to ukuhlamba II

Photograph

2021

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

70 x 110 cm

27 3/5 x 43 3/10 in

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Ukuhlamba

Ukuhlamba

Video

2020

Stop motion film

04:35 min

Edition of 5 + 2 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled

Untitled

Drawing

2021

Wax and synthetic indigo on paper

29,7 x 21 cm

11 7/10 x 8 1/4 in

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled

Untitled

Drawing

2021

Wax and synthetic indigo on paper

21 x 29,7 cm

8 1/4 x 11 7/10 in

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Fille Ouolof

Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Fille Ouolof

Photograph

2021

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Dakar, Jeune Fille

Untitled - Dakar, Jeune Fille

Photograph

2021

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Village Sénégalais, Femme de race Lébou

Untitled - Village Sénégalais, Femme de race Lébou

Photograph

2021

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Sénégal, Femme Cérère

Untitled - Sénégal, Femme Cérère

Photograph

2017

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Femme Antaimoro

Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Femme Antaimoro

Photograph

2017

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Femme Djallonké

Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Jeune Femme

Photograph

2017

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Jeunes Filles Saussai

Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Jeunes Filles Saussai

Photograph

2017

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Femme Maure

Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Femme Maure

Photograph

2017

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Fille Soussou

Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Fille Soussou

Photograph

2017

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Mbali Dhlamini: Untitled - Afrique Occidentale, Jeunes Filles Saussai

Untitled - Dakar, Femme Sénégalaise

Photograph

2017

Digital Print on Textured FineArt Rag

100 x 71 cm

39 3/8 x 28 in

Edition of 5 + 1 AP