Buhlebezwe Siwani on the artists who inspire her

Marguerite Oelofse, Supplied
Meet Buhlebezwe Siwani, one of Cape Town’s most captivating performance artists whose work you’ll likely see, hear and experience more and more of this year – and beyond. She’s one of 12 creative women who we’ve selected to be part of our Next Generation 2017 campaign, celebrating outstanding women in design. Buhlebezwe chats to House and Leisure about the artists who’ve inspired her as she continues to develop her own artistry.

1. Grace Jones

‘She has always been unafraid and unapologetic. Even though the world considered her to be different, she chose to exist through what she believed was her truth. She also has such a great sense of style. I find most admirable that she is great at each and every thing that she pursues.’

2. Ana Mendieta

‘The creative work that she made during her lifetime and how she translated the performative in spaces still blows my mind. Her simplistic execution was often complex, layered and nebulous.’
Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude.

3. Lerato Shadi

‘First of all I am a huge fan and believe that Lerato is immensely underrated. I am intrigued by the colour in her artistic language, as well as her durational performances.’

4. Brenda Fassie

‘Do I really need to justify how many people have been inspired by the sheer gravitas of MaBrr? She constantly showed that it is okay to reinvent yourself, to understand that choice is an option. That you need not be polite, you can be blunt. That you can feel free in your own skin and own it (I could go on...), and that is beautiful in its own way.’
From 'The Kitchen Table Series' by Carrie Mae Weems.

5. Mamela Nyamza

‘When she performs, even her silences have a depth and weight to them. You can tell that she is always thinking and challenging an idea.’

6. Carrie Mae Weems

‘The manner in which she disrupts how black people are seen is heartbreaking and I believe she is one of the artists who is at the crux of why I do what I do now.’ Visit for more of the artist's work.
To read all about House and Leisure's Next Generation 2017, get your copy of the #HLNextGenIssue in stores and online now.
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