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Meet Visual Artist Lungiswa Gqunta

 Meet Visual Artist Lungiswa Gqunta

Her work investigates colonial landscapes and the spatial legacies that result from them.   

Lungiswa Gqunta is a visual artist working in performance, printmaking, sculpture, and installation. Her work investigates colonial landscapes and the spatial legacies that result from them.  

Sleeping Pools.

She uses found materials including empty beer bottles, petrol, torn bedsheets, and worn wooden bed frames to create designs that express different forms of violence and the systemic inequality in South Africa. 

Gqunta exhibited her Masters exhibition in February of 2017 at the Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town, titled The Home of Residue 

Let me ease my pain.

She then went on to exhibit her first commercial solo, titled Qokobe at Whatiftheworld Gallery, (Cape Town: 2017).  

Qokobe translated from isiXhosa means “empty container”. 

Gqunta’s colloquial association with this word is the ‘matchbox’ or more directly, the matchbox houses which were provided by the government to people of colour in townships after they had been relocated to informal settlements. 

Feet under fire.

She also exhibits both locally and abroad with the artist collective iQhiya 

Comprised of black, female artists, iQhiya (an isiXhosa word for the protective cloth women use on their heads when carrying water) represents the “unshakable power” within the female and the collective.  

iQhiya was founded in 2016 to engage with ideas of power, gender, and representation through their individual experiences and narratives. 


 The group of women work across the disciplines of performance, installation, photography, sculpture, painting, writing, and video to support and create visibility for the black female voice.

Her work forms part of the public collections of the Kunsthalle ZurichNelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversityThe University of Cape Town and Zeitz MOCAA. 

See more of her works here. 

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Ray Maota