The Project Space at FNB JOBURG ART FAIR

September 04, 2018

SPECIAL PROJECT by Alka Dass and Stacey Gillian Abe -  BOOTH A17

FNB JOBURG ART FAIR 6 - 9, September, 2018.

Sandton Convention Center

Stacey Gillian Abe, makes the 2018 FORBES AFRICA 30 UNDER 30

June 03, 2018

Stacey Gillian Abe, 27

The winner of the Young Female Residency Award - The rest of Africa call, makes the 2018 Forbes Africa 30 under 30. Gillian is a Multidisciplinary Contemporary Artist whose work highlights "the strengths and fragility of the female mind" and "attempts to critique stereotypical depictions of her as a black woman", according to her autobiograpy.


June 24, 2018

THE PROJECT SPACE is thrilled to announce the 2018 recipient of the Young Female Residency Award: Asemahle Ntlonti


Asemahle Ntlonti was born in 1993 in Cape Town, South Africa. She graduated from the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2017, where she majored in sculpture. She was awarded the Hoosein Mahomed Award for Excellence in 2015 and the Barbara Fairhead Award for Social Responsibility in 2014. Ntlonti was a top 10 finalist for the Barclays L’Atelier Award 2016, participated in Infecting The City Arts Festival 2016 and was also a finalist for Sasol New Signatures Art Competition, 2015. She is a member of iQhiya, a collective of 11 black women based in Cape Town, Johannesburg, South Africa and Botswana. iQhiya participated in Documenta 14, 2017 and has exhibited and performed in various spaces around South Africa. Ntlonti Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa

Her practice as an undergraduate dealt with the trauma of the frequent death and violence inflicted on black bodies, attempting to narrate a creative conversation that situated her own experience in the greater trajectory. The work is concerned with history, drawing from her life as a young woman growing up in the colonial cape now, in relation to the lives of her parents, grandparents and great grandparents. These historical comparisons aim to talk about the repletion of violent histories across generations, but also to engage with the way the forms of racialized violence have changed.

Asemahle will be in residence at The Project Space  from 1 July - 30 November and will travel for her international artist residency with AFSASCA/SAFFCA in France, May 2019.



We received numerous strong applications from talented young female artists and would like to thank and commend all the applicants. Three artists however, presented exceptional work with great potential and have been selected as finalists for the award.  The selected finalists and winner will exhibit their work as part of a group show at the RMB Turbine Art Fair from 13-15 July 2018 in Johannesburg, and other selected local and international art fairs during the course of 2019.

We would like to congratulate the finalists: Anastasia Pather, Chris Van Der Merwe, and Lebohang Motaung


Chrisel Van Der Merwe

Chrisél van der Merwe was born in 1994 in South Africa. She received her BA Fine Arts degree from the University of Pretoria in 2016. Van der Merwe was selected as a Sasol New Signatures finalist in 2016 and 2017. In 2017 she was chosen to participate in the Assemblage Peer Mentoring Program and the RMB Talent Unlocked exhibition at the Turbine Art Fair. Hereafter she continued to showcase her work in multiple group shows around South Africa where her work has become part of various national and international collections. In 2018 she participated in the group exhibitions ‘Talking to Deaf Ears’ and ‘Unsettled’ at ABSA Art Gallery in Johannesburg.  She had a solo exhibition titled ‘Architectus Konstruksie’ the 2018 Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees (KKNK) in the Western Cape. Her next solo show, ‘Under Construction’, will take place in July 2018 at Assemblage in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.


Van der Merwe uses the medium of experimental printmaking, sculpture and installation to create an archive of her explorations of the city of Johannesburg. The copper plates are engraved by the forces applied to it on construction sites – spaces that show the changing nature of the city.  Almost as innocent bystanders, the plates capture the energy, memory and history of the city in a specific place and time. In this fluent urban context, renewal and erosion are the concurrent themes in her artistic practice. Van der Merwe embraces the masculine materiality and space associated with the construction-site and reform them with her own feminist view, subtly referencing the gender politics of urban space.



Lebohang Motaung

Lebohang Motaung was born in 1992 in Evaton, Gauteng. She went to Vaal University of Technology where she got a Btech in Fine Arts (2013). She then studied at Artist Proof Studio where she received a certificate of excellence in printmaking (2015). Lebohang is a fine artist and a hairstylist. Lebohang works predominantly in printmaking and drawing where she focuses on the theme of African hairstyling. In 2015, she went on a residency at The School of the museum of fine arts in Boston, USA. She has prints in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Plaiting hair has always been part of her life. Over the years it went from just a tool of making money to her area of research and art practice. She became more fascinated by arrangements, patterns, colour and different textures. She started to take hairstyling as an art form of its own. In her work, she focuses on the activity and process of doing hair. She is influenced by the conversations she shares with her clients while plaiting.


Anastasia Pather

Anastasia Pather is a reluctant artist, finger painter and female excited by innuendo and the cross meanings things. Concerned with surface, gender and the Indian 'aesthetic' Pather considers perceptions of value, exoticism and eroticism through the architecture of 'memory' and the politics of colour.

Born in 1987, she is yet to understand the formulaic act of an artist biography or CV's as anything other than proving you should be liked because someone has previously liked you. And, although, she has many thoughts swimming in her head Pather often finds conceptual rants and artist 'statements' for artworks which are presumably statements in themselves not much more than another wank. Anastasia paints in Johannesburg and has had two solo shows at 99 Loop, Cape Town (2016, 2017).

THE PROJECT SPACE in the New York Times

April 25, 2018

Two Projects Helping Female Artists in Africa Find Their Voices:

Todd Pitock


In many African countries, where career paths for women can still be limited to practical fields like nursing and teaching, the decision to attempt a career in art is seen as unrealistic. Female artists face enormous cultural and financial resistance. But a Johannesburg residency and an international art fair opening in Brooklyn next week aim to help some young women get a toehold on the ladder. Stacey Gillian Abe’s installation at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which runs May 4 through 6 at Pioneer Works, the cultural center in the borough’s Red Hook neighborhood, would be provocative in any context...more


April 20, 2018

THE PROJECT SPACE and its annual Young Female Residency Award is honored to be at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York- 2018


"Decadently Damaged" features 2017 winners; Alka Dass (South Africa) and Stacey Gillian Abe (Uganda). Both artists, each interrogate the effects of patriarchy and the stereotypes placed on women as commercial entities and the embodiment of women in spiritual and physical space, with a focus on women of African and Indian descent. Damage is examined not in the physicality of violence but in the ways in which it continuously alters the mental, physical, emotional environmental realities of women.


4 - 6 May 2018

Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

The Project Space at INVESTEC CAPE TOWN ART FAIR 2018

February 10, 2018

The Project Space is proud to present a Special Project by Alka Dass at Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018, running from 16 - 18th February. Alka is a 2017 Young Female Artist Resident Award winner. 

Benon Lutaaya & The Young Female Residency Award- named finalist nominee at the 20TH ANNUAL PRESTIGIOUS BASA AWARDS 2017

September 04, 2017

Business and Arts South Africa’s announcement of the 44 finalists for the prestigious annual BASA Awards is especially significant this year as the ceremony celebrates two decades of business and arts partnerships in South Africa. 


“That BASA has not just survived but has thrived over 20 years is testament to the power of public-private partnerships in South Africa. The Department of Arts and Culture remains a critical partner, as do the corporates that believe in the value of the arts and the creative sector in our society,” comments Michelle Constant, CEO of BASA. 

Benon Lutaaya is named among the finalist nominees "First Time Sponsor" category for his Sponsorship of the Young Female Residency Award. MORE

Alka Dass -2017 Young Female Residency Award winner

July 04, 2017

Alka Dass is a young South African artist based in Durban, a graduate of Durban University of Technology. She works predominantly within sculpture and painting, and her work looks at gender equalities.

Her interests lie in female identity and gender equality, as well as the problematic relationships women have with their bodies and how its’ affected by the other. Extreme scrutiny is placed upon society’s obsession, lust and angst on the female form. How the natural state can be seen as disgusting. This is what she portrays in her work. She musters women from different walks of life in her production.


These interactions are what makes her art come alive. She feels her creations speak more about the woman around her (strangers, friends, family) than they do about her own opinion only. Selfless and whole,  She would like to empower women
through her art.

Her art making has extreme paradoxes in its construction; She prefers her work to have a slight grotesque aesthetic. She implements it by framing most of these works in an unsullied mounting. Her work takes form in mixed media, found objects, photo manipulation and sculpture. Repetition and anti-aesthetic play narrative in her pieces. She works predominately with keeping to a warm tone colour palette. She draws inspiration from: Frances Goodman, Guerrilla Girls, Barbara Kruger and Tracey Emin.

Alka Dass is in a 6 Months Residency at the Bag Factory Artists' Studios in Johannesburg till December 2017, and then, will be in Europe with SAFFCA Residency for a period of 10 weeks in the summer of 2018.

benon at 1:54 - Contemporary African Art Fair, New York

April 30, 2017

The leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary African art will return to New York for its third edition, May 5-7, 2017. Its the first time benon lutaaya is gracing the Fair, represented by the ROOM Gallery & Projects. MORE

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