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HL Next Level 2019: Artist Nolan Oswald Dennis

Technology and art intersect in the work of Nolan Oswald Dennis, a multidisciplinary artist who explores the ‘black consciousness of space’.

Illustration Stacey Knipe

Nolan Oswald Dennis | House and Leisure

Each year, House and Leisure creates a special feature that is all about up-and-coming South African creative talent. We look closely at the worlds of decor and design, and ask architects, ceramicists, product designers, artists, jewellers and photographers to tell us who we should be watching out for in their areas of work. 

Recent alumni of the Next Level list include fashion designer Rich Mnisi, photographer Zander Opperman and illustrator Karabo Poppy Moletsane, among many others. Check out the entire 2018 Next Level crew here.

The research phase of the work on this feature is followed by a discussion of precisely who we want to showcase – and why. This year, the team recognised that there has been a palpable return to the handmade recently, and so we wanted everyone who was featured to be someone who makes their pieces by hand.

From a textile designer to a jeweller and a chef, all the creatives included in 2019’s House and Leisure Next Level list do just that.

Artist Nolan Oswald Dennis Is One Of Them

Technology and art intersect in the work of Nolan Oswald Dennis, a multidisciplinary artist who describes his process as an ongoing exploration of the ‘black consciousness of space’.

The 2016 FNB Art Prize winner and alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exhibited an outstanding body of work in January entitled Options – his second solo show at the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town.

Through his long, looping drawings, Dennis’ artworks map and structure the lines that connect his technical, spiritual, economic and psychological realms, encouraging viewers to fall into his black, white and blue universe.

‘I try to determine which systems govern an idea I’m interested in, and then I try to build a counter-system to break that idea – to open it up and see it differently. I usually take something I know and force it onto a thing I don’t know. For example, I studied architecture, so I try to force those drawing techniques onto non-architectural objects, like dreams, secrets and black liberation histories,’ says Nolan Oswald Dennis, who is revealing what’s possible for the next generation of artists.  

Watch Our Video Portrait Of  Nolan Oswald Dennis Here

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