CWM IG Auction| Meet the Curators: Nkule Mabaso

To close off our Creative Women Month, we will be hosting a special Instagram Auction from 31st August to 3 September, where we wish to highlight women creatives and their work, as well as provide the opportunity for them to showcase (and sell!) their works. In our efforts to do so, we paired up with six curators to source artworks from up-and-coming creatives across the country.

Nkule Mabaso is an overall artist and curator who exercises her many talents at the University of Cape Town Michaelis Galleries as a curator, and as the director of Natal Collective – an arts production company established in 2012 and internationally active in research practices and projects around contemporary Africana visual arts.

Mabaso’s practise is collaborative and her research interests centre around theorizing and articulating nuanced aesthetic questions from the black female vantage point. Recent projects include the curation of the South Africa Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2019, Venice together with Nomusa Makhubu under the title “The stronger we become”, and earlier this year, she was a co-curator for the Tomorrows/Today section at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2020.

Mabaso has partnered with us to curate our Instagram Auction. She chats to us about preparing for the auction and the process of sourcing artists:

Briefly tell us about yourself and your creative journey, how did you end up where you are today?

My undergraduate studies were a BA if Fine Art, majoring in painting, from UCT; followed by a Master of Advanced Studies in Curating from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and a lot of practice and engagement in the sector in the last 5 years.

Talk us through your process of searching for and selecting the artists you have selected to take part in the auction.

The artists selected are artists I have engaged with in other projects, have been interested in the practice in general over a period of time… There is great value in following the development and growth of the artists and the practice over time…

Is there a specific artistic theme or criteria you looked for? If so, what criteria or theme is this?

No, I have simply invited existing work from the artist, so it’s work that’s been made now during quarantine and slightly before, and the selection of work is negotiated together with the artists giving them primacy to present the work they wish to have a public reception or to test out the public reaction to new work that has not previously been presented.

This month, we aim to celebrate women creatives through a variety of activations. In your opinion, what is the importance of highlighting women creatives in the industry, giving them a voice and celebrating their craft?

The creative industries are often thought of as progressive and cutting edge – but when it comes to racial and gender imbalance, just like every other industry, so as long as those conditions exist platforms that highlight the marginal will remain necessary. It just shows the state of the industry that such focuses remain necessary…

What role do creatives play in ensuring women-related issues are brought awareness and women in arts are celebrated?

By being women and working in the arts is enough work in this regard, no need to labour their expression with additional expectations.

Make sure you tune into our IG page this week to catch her auction.

Between 10 and 5