Usha Seejarim

b. 1974, Bethal, South Africa.

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 for Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award. Earlier awards include: the SCAC Marestaing & The Secular Solidarity Association Sculpture Award at the Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal and the Tomorrow’s/ Today Prize, at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa, both in 2018;  the Mercedes-Benz Award for Public Art in 2008; the Ampersand Fellowship Award, New York City, USA in 2003 and the inaugural MTN New Contemporaries Exhibition Award (joint-winner) in 2001, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Seejarim recently presented her solo exhibition Un balai, pourquoi pas une balai, following her 2 -month residency at SCAC Marestaing in Montesquieu-Volvestre, France in 2019. Further selected solo exhibitions 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).

Group exhibitions include: 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London, UK; The Ampersand Foundation Award 21 years celebration exhibition curated by Gordon Froud at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) in 2019; WomanISM as part of the 12th OSTRALE Biennale for Contemporary Art, travelling at the Goethe Institute; Ausländerrat; Historic Tobacco Factory f6, Dresden, Germany in 2019; 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 presented at the University of Johannesburg in Johannesburg, 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 IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

Seejarim has completed numerous public commissions namely: 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 an artwork for the facade of the South African Chancery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2008, amongst others.

Seejarim’s work forms part of public and private collections such as the Iziko South African National Gallery (SANG), Cape Town, South Africa; the South African Foundation For Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), South Africa; the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg, South Africa and the Fondazione Fiera Milan, Milan, Italy among others.

Seejarim recently presented her solo exhbition Un balai, pourquoi pas une balai, following her 2 -month residency at  SCAC Marestaing in Montesquieu – Volvestre, France.

Seejarim’s work was recently included in WomanISM‘, as part of the 12th OSTRALE – Biennale for Contemporary Art. 14 female artists from Germany and Africa have been selected by the curators to take part in the project. Their works were presented in cadre of the OSTRALE Biennale O19 in Dresden, Germany.

Seejarim recently exhibited her solo exhibition, Transgressing Power at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Gunseli Yalcinkaya | Dezeen | Design Indaba explores the idea of beauty through 10 objects | 13 February 2019 – PDF

Garreth Van Niekerk | Huffpost SA | Looking for Ubuntu? | 6 March 2018 – PDF

ArtAfrica | ‘Keepers of the Common’ wins Tomorrow / Today | 22 February 2018 – PDF

Wendyl Martin | The Weekend Argus | No hanging about as Gauteng artist irons it | 17 February 2018 – 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