b. 1974, Bethal, South Africa.
Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A Slice of Ordinariness
Pegs and Wire
110 x 33.5 x 19 cm
A Small Wound
Pegs and Wire
180 x 90 x 7 cm
Kundalini in the kitchen
Pegs and Wire
78 x 46 x 18.5 cm
Multimedia: Pegs and Wire
184 x 80 x 40 cm
Sometimes I Get My Knickers in a Knot
Sculpture: Pegs and Wire
68 x 98.2 cm
Usha Seejarim was born in 1974 in Bethal, South Africa and currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Seejarim received a B-Tech Degree in Fine Art from the University of Johannesburg in 1999 and a Master’s Degree in Fine Art at the University of The Witwatersrand (WITS) in 2008, both in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Most recently, Seejarim’s site-specific artwork, Sounds of Sibikwa, was nominated by the Market Photo Workshop CEO, Ismail Mahomed, for Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award. Seejarim is also currently exhibiting her solo exhibition, Transgressing Power, at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In 2018, Seejarim was the recipient of the prestigious Dak’Art Biennale Sculpture Prize, in Dakar, Senegal; and was awarded the Tomorrow’s/Today Prize for her installation, Keepers of the Common, at the 2018 Investec Cape Town Art Fair in Cape Town, South Africa. Towards the end of 2018, Seejarim presented an artist talk on Mistress Pieces: Iconic Artworks by Feminists and Gender Activists at the University of Johannesburg, in South Africa; and was selected to partake in an exhibition celebrating 40 years of the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA) at the Keyes Art Mile in Johannesburg, South Africa. Seejarim’s work was also exhibited as part of the exhibition The Art of Lithography: A Collaborative Expression of LL Editions which ran until January 2019 at the Wits Art Museum.
Solo exhibitions and presentations include: Transgressing Power at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2019; Keepers of the Common at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018; Reasons for descending the staircase at Fried Contemporary in Pretoria, South Africa in 2017; Venus at Home – a travelling exhibition presented at the Durban Art Gallery, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa; NWU Gallery at the Northwest University in Potchefstroom, South Africa; the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) in Johannesburg, South Africa and the Atherstone Gallery at National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa (2015-2012); as well as Mine over Matter in 2009 and The Hole Truth in 2006, both at Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Selected group exhibitions include: The Red Hour, curated by Simon Njami, for the Dak’art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal in 2018; Twenty: Art in the Time of Democracy, a travelling exhibition, curated by Gordon Froud and presented at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa; Turchin Centre in Boone, USA and the Beijing Biennale in Beijing, China in 2015; Where do we migrate to? at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, USA in 2011, Another World, curated by Simon Njami for the 6th African Encounters of Photography in Bamako, Mali in 2005, Fresh in 2001 and Isinto, curated by Tumelo Mosaka and Zayd Minty, in 1999 at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
Seejarim has completed numerous public commissions which include the public portrait for Nelson Mandela’s funeral in Qunu, South Africa in 2013; Figures Representing Articles From the Freedom Charter in 2008 in Soweto, South Africa; and artwork for the facade of the South African chancery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2008, amongst others. Seejarim’s awards include: the SCAC Marestaing & the Secular Solidarity Association Sculpture Award at the Dakar Biennale in Senegal in 2018; the Tomorrow’s/Today Prize at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in South Africa in 2018; the Mercedes-Benz Award for Public Art in 2008; the Ampersand Fellowship Award, New York, USA in 2003; and the inaugural MTN New Contemporaries Exhibition Award (joint-winner) in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2001.
Seejarim’s work is included in a number of private, corporate and public collections, namely that of the Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG) in Cape Town, South Africa; the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), South Africa; the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) in Johannesburg, South Africa; and the Fondazione Fiera Milan, in Italy, amongst others.
Seejarim is currently exhibiting her solo exhibition, Transgressing Power, at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. The exhibition opened on Saturday, 8 June and will come to a close on 13 July 2019.
Sounds of Sibikwa by Usha Seejarim is nominated by Market Theatre Foundation CEO Ismail Mahomed for Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa Award. “Sounds of Sibikwa depicts a silhouette form of a female dancer in the act of a split stretch. Created by Artist Usha Seejarim, the piece is a site-specific piece commissioned by and for the Sibikwa Arts Center in Benoni.”
Gunseli Yalcinkaya | Dezeen | Design Indaba explores the idea of beauty through 10 objects | 13 February 2019 – PDF
Artribune | Apre al pubblico la fiera Investec Cape Town Art. Il report dalla preview sudafricana | 16 February 2018 – PDF
Edward Tsumele | Business Day | Ubuntu art raises questions on the progress of humanity | 13 February 2018 – PDF