blank projects host an Exhibition Walkabout with Asemahle Ntlonti

16 February 2024
10:00 – 11:00
Blank projects
10 Lewin Street , 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa


Asemahle Ntlonti’s approach to painting is expressed through the layering of paint, paper and thread stitching on canvas. Working on the floor to immerse her body in the process, she gradually builds up her works by intuitively applying and stripping away material. Ntlonti draws inspiration from the textures and hues that characterise the vernacular architecture of her ancestral homeland in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and recently the works have been informed by the artist’s encounters with the ruins of her mother’s homestead and its interior surfaces. Resembling topographical charts or maps, the walls of painted colour veined with mud-filled cracks conjure landscapes imbued with nostalgia and longing.


Ntlonti’s process refers to the acts of digging / excavating and mending / repairing to speak about the scars of intergenerational traumas caused by the effects of economic subjugation and displacement of black people under colonialism and apartheid; with particular reference to the cultural alienation and loss of knowledges embedded within precolonial tradition and spirituality. Seeking to locate her identity in relation to the land and community from which she and her family have been estranged, Ntlonti’s practice is centred around her ongoing research of isiXhosa heritage and an inquiry into her ancestry.


To date, Ntlonti has had three solo exhibitions: Vuthulula (2021) and Nothwala impahlana (2020) at WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town and Kukho Isililo Somntu II (2017) at blank projects, Cape Town. Recent group exhibitions include The Future is Behind Us at A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town (2022); Space & Place at Galerie EIGEN + ART, Leipzig (2021); and 021 - 2021 at Stevenson, Amsterdam (2021).


In 2018, Ntlonti was awarded the Young Female Residency by The Project Space, a non-profit cultural institution founded by the late Benon Lutaaya in Johannesburg. Other residencies include the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA) in Knysna, South Africa and Saint Emilion, France (2019) and Parallel Play v.2 (in conjunction with Kyle Morland) at A4 Arts Foundation (2022). Her work has been acquired by several notable private and institutional collections including the permanent collection of Nedbank.



Based in Cape Town, South Africa, blank was founded by Jonathan Garnham as a project space in 2005 and transitioned into a commercial gallery during 2012.


The gallery represents emerging and increasingly established artists from the region and the diaspora in a critically engaged programme that emphasizes contemporaneity with a focus on concept and abstraction in the African context.


With an exhibition programme that has a reputation for shaping the discourse around contemporary art in (Southern) Africa, and participation in prominent local and international art fairs, we seek to place our artists' work in a wide range of private and institutional collections.


In addition, blank continues to promote the visual arts in our local community through ongoing projects that support the sector.

Blank projects
10 Lewin Street , 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
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