The New Vanguard
Berman Contemporary’s The New Vanguard is a mentoring group for artists with emerging practices. We create opportunities for them such as curated exhibitions, art fairs and coaching.
Phumzile Buthelezi was born in 1976 during the Soweto Uprising. Formal education began at Thulani Primary School where, at the age of seven, she won 3 rd prize in a drawing competition. High School started at Aurora Girls High and she completed her matric certificate at St Enda’s Community College.
Natalie de Morney
Natalie de Morney was born in Cape Town in 1980 and raised in Elsies River, a township on the Cape Flats. She currently lives in East London. She is a fine art graduate with majors in painting and ceramics from Walter Sisulu University. A successful civil engineer until, at the age of 33, she left that career behind to follow her passion of becoming the artist she always dreamt of being, since she was a little girl. After a year of exploring with little to no experience, she was led to joining a drawing class held by a retired fine art lecturer who encouraged her to go back to university and study fine art. Into her late 30s, she started tapping into her intuition and connecting to nature and the spiritual realm, capturing her introspective and healing journey. This led her to conduct her post graduate research on how to use art, spirituality and nature to heal. Her works illustrate her journey of healing and transformation.
Odette Graskie is an artist living in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is interested in the imaginative, interaction and line. Graskie’s work is influenced by the people around her, the everyday interactions that highlight human connection. Graskie graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria in 2015. She works with storytelling in a variety of mediums, including textile art, ceramics and works on paper. She recently had a solo show entitled The Sorrows at AVA Gallery in Cape Town. Recently, Graskie has exhibited her work as one of the featured artists at the Turbine Art Fair Installations Program. She has had solo shows entitled Human Noise at Millennium Gallery in Pretoria as well as Ambedo at the Centre or Contemporary Art in Poland, where she had a residency in 2017. Her work is to be exhibited in several group shows, including Unbearable at Trent Gallery in Pretoria, as well as in Artladies at Berman Contemporary.
Amogelang Maepa was born in 1995 April 30th in Mabopane (Gauteng), she first studied art in 2009 at Die Hoerskool Langenhoven, she matriculated in 2013 and furthered her studies in the arts at Tshwane University of Technology in 2014. Amogelang majored in Ceramics and Printmaking during her studies at Tshwane University of Technology, and graduated in the year 2017 with a national diploma certificate.
Nomfundo Ndondo Mkhize was born in Newcastle, South Africa in the year 1996. After completion of her studies at the Durban University of Technology in 2017, Mkhize now holds a National Diploma in Fine Arts, where she majored in Art History, Drawing, Sculpture, Painting, Communication and Management Studies. In 2017, Mkhize was selected as one of the top 100 finalists for the Sasol New Signature Art Competition. Mkhize is now a Johannesburg based artist, who is currently focusing on a variety of mediums that focus on her heritage. Her work has an earth toned aesthetic and is culturally focused, which is heavily influenced by her isiZulu background and oral traditions.
Grace Mokalapa was born in Soweto (1992). From a young age, Grace developed an interest in drawing and painting as well as a curiosity in astronomy and philosophy – these ideologies and practices sparked a passion within Grace. After completing her secondary education, she was accepted to study Visual Arts at the University of Witwatersrand. Grace graduated in 2015 with a BA degree in Fine Arts and later became a recipient of the Studio Bursary at Assemblage Studios funded by the African Arts Trust. Grace Mokalapa is currently working as an independent artist, her work often evoking experience(s) with altered spaces, an amalgamation between art and science.
Beading as a form of communication has always been a labour of love for which Nguni women have devoted time and energy as a creative proclamation, since time immemorial. Over the years the practice of beading has been whitewashed, taking away its ability to be truly understood for its divine spiritual beauty.
As a direct result of the colonization of Africa by Europe most of the continent’s customs, traditions and culture were disrupted. The Western-centric city setting that Mbali Mthethwa grew up in has resulted in her never feeling fully connected with her culture. Mthethwa’s artistic endeavor has become a channel that facilitates a deeper connection with her culture. Mthethwa’s process begins with her summoning her ancestors through ukuphahla, and her ancestors in turn respond to her in messages and dreams. The result of this is expressed through her beaded pieces that are in honour and celebration of history and traditional African craft.