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Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Heart of the garden

Stand TT8

As part of Tomorrows/ Today at Investec Cape Town Art Fair

 

Head-Image

Ezilalini (The country)

This story was motivated by an earlier project, I carry Her photo with Me, which is about the disappearance of my sister Ziyanda.

As part of that project, I traced her footprints back to the Eastern Cape, exploring her earlier life in Tsomo and the surrounding area. Through this process I was able to reconnect with family and uncover a wider sense of my identity. However, I realised that this was also a place that I know very little about. This deep ancestral connection to place and the simultaneous feeling of distance is explored through the series Ezilalini (The country), with reference to South Africa’s history.

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Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Amakrwala Black Hill, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Amakrwala Black Hill, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Gogo Lucy Zwane in her garden, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Gogo Lucy Zwane in her garden, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Ngqeleni, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Ngqeleni, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Symbol of graves, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Symbol of graves, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Omama Bathwelinyanda, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Omama Bathwelinyanda, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Sanele resting in field, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Sanele resting in field, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Inkomo zakwa Mamsago I and II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Inkomo zakwa Mamsago I and II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden I, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden I, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

UmamBhele uyatyabeka, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 40 x 50 cm (15.7 x 19.7 in.)

Edition of 7

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

UmamBhele uyatyabeka, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 40 x 50 cm (15.7 x 19.7 in.)

Edition of 7

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Yonelisa Samela in his grandmother’s garden during

South Africa’s first lockdown, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 60 x 40 cm (23.6 x 15.7 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Yonelisa Samela in his grandmother’s garden during

South Africa’s first lockdown, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 60 x 40 cm (23.6 x 15.7 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Inquire
Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Amakrwala Black Hill, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Amakrwala Black Hill, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Gogo Lucy Zwane in her garden, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Gogo Lucy Zwane in her garden, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Ngqeleni, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Ngqeleni, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Symbol of graves, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Symbol of graves, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Omama Bathwelinyanda, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Omama Bathwelinyanda, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Sanele resting in field, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Sanele resting in field, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 80 x 100 cm (31.5 x 39.4 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Inkomo zakwa Mamsago I and II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Inkomo zakwa Mamsago I and II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 50 x 60 cm (19.7 x 23.6 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden II, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden I, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Luvo in the garden I, 2021

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 100 x 80 cm (39.4 x 31.5 in.)

Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

UmamBhele uyatyabeka, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 40 x 50 cm (15.7 x 19.7 in.)

Edition of 7

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

UmamBhele uyatyabeka, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 40 x 50 cm (15.7 x 19.7 in.)

Edition of 7

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Yonelisa Samela in his grandmother’s garden during

South Africa’s first lockdown, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 60 x 40 cm (23.6 x 15.7 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Yonelisa Samela in his grandmother’s garden during

South Africa’s first lockdown, 2020

Inkjet print on cotton rag

Work: 60 x 40 cm (23.6 x 15.7 in.)

Edition of 7 + 2 AP

My family considers the Eastern Cape our ancestral home, but many of us live in urban centres. My grandmother, who still lives in Tsomo, curses Johannesburg as a place that has swallowed her children. The need to make a living in the city has created deep fragmentation in families and communities across South Africa. This divide between rural and urban is linked to Apartheid-era spatial planning laws and has resulted in severe economic inequality, but has also caused fragmentation of identity. As a result many people living in cities do not consider those places “home”. Johannesburg, for example, is seen as a place of opportunity, a place where you can get a job or make your dreams come true. “Home” refers to the countryside. It is a place where your elders live; a spiritual place where you can always connect with your ancestors. It’s a holy land to some, a place where they can rejuvenate and restart. This project explores the multiplicity of place and identity; it reflects on the lingering effects of Apartheid, but also the deep roots and connection I have to Ezilalini, “the country”.

Lindokuhle Sobekwa | Heart of the garden - Goodman Gallery Cape Town - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Lindokuhle Sobekwa (b. 1995, Katlehong, South Africa) is from a generation of South African photographers born after the first democratic elections of 1994. Through his participation in the Of Soul and Joy photography education programme in Thokoza in 2012, he realised that the medium of photography would be an essential tool to tell stories that concern and interest him.

Sobekwa exhibited for the first time in 2013 as part of a group show in Thokoza organised by the Rubis Mécénat foundation. His photo essay Nyaope (2014) was published in the Mail & Guardian (South Africa), in Vice magazine’s annual Photo Issue and in the daily De Standaard (Belgium). In 2015, Sobekwa was awarded a scholarship to study at the Market Photo Workshop. That same year his series Nyaope was exhibited in another group show, Free From My Happiness, organised by Rubis Mécénat for the International Photo Festival of Ghent (Belgium). The exhibition toured additional sites in Belgium and South Africa. A publication edited by Tjorven Bruyneel included a selection of works.

Sobekwa was selected by the Magnum Foundation For Photography and Social Justice (NYC) to develop the project I carry Her photo with Me. In 2018 he received the Magnum Foundation Fund to continue his long-term project Nyaope. In 2021 Sobekwa completed a residency at A4 Foundation in Cape Town, culminating in a two-person exhibition with Mikhael Subotzky titled Tell It to the Mountains. Sobekwa opened his first museum show in 2022 at Huis Marseille (Netherlands), featuring the body of work Umkhondo. Tracing memory as part of the summer programme The beauty of the world so heavy. His hand-made photobook, I carry Her photo with Me, was included in African Cosmologies at the FotoFest Biennial Houston (2020), curated by Mark Sealy.


Sobekwa’s work was shown at Goodman Gallery in March 2023 as part of the photography show Against the Grain, alongside Ernest Cole, David Goldblatt, Ruth Motau and Ming Smith. He was named an official member of Magnum Photos in 2022 and gave a lecture about his practice at TATE Modern in 2023 as part of his John Kobal Foundation Fellowship. He was also awarded the 2023 FNB Art Prize.