Thenjiwe Nkosi explores how people navigate spaces and structures both visible and imagined. Her paintings, videos and installations examine the transformative experiences of displacement and migration that informed her childhood and later life. Her work also explores racial and social dynamics of competitive sports, reframing images outside of their original context to question the politics of representation.
Working with Photoshop to arrange her compositions, she paints mostly from found images and You Tube videos, which are digitally edited to remove sections of the surrounding backdrop. In her portraits, subjects are framed with fields of vibrant colour suggestive of transitory spaces unmarked by place or history.
In her exploration of elite women's gymnastics, the artist uses the sporting arena as an illustration of the representation of Black achievement in historically white spaces. Rather than capturing the drama of the main event, Nkosi's paintings are mindful of the gaps, absences and voids that characterize Blackness as both a social construct and lived experience.