Thania Petersen


Thania Petersen is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses photography, performance and installation to address the intricacies and complexities of her identity in contemporary South Africa.

Petersen’s reference points sit largely in Islam and in creating awareness about its religious, cultural and traditional practices. She attempts to unpack contemporary trends of Islamophobia through her analysis of the continuing impact of colonialism, European and American imperialism, and the increasing influence of right-wing ideologies.

Threads in her work include the history of colonialist imperialism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, as well as the social and cultural impact of westernised consumer culture. Her work is also informed by her Cape Malay heritage, and the practice of Sufi Islamic religious ceremonies.

Petersen studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art in London. She has held two solo exhibitions in 2016 at the AVA, Cape Town and in 2017 at the Everad Read Gallery, Cape Town. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions both locally and abroad. Upcoming exhibitions include Present Passing at the Osage Foundation in Hong Kong.

Petersen is represented in various public and private collections including The Durban Art GalleryThe IZIKO South African National Gallery, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA)The Kilbourn CollectionThe Jochen Zeitz Collection, and The Yeojoo City Collection, South Korea.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 Between Land and a Raised Foot, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
2017 Remnants - Remnants, Everard Read, Cape Town
2015 I AM ROYAL - I AM ROYAL, AVA Gallery, Cape Town

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 Present Passing: South by Southeast, Osage Art Foundation, Hong Kong
Radical Love, Ford Foundation, New York
2018 Everard Read Gallery booth, Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town
2017 All Things Being Equal..., Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town
Dear History: It’s Not Me, It’s You, LKB/G Gallery, Hamburg
Dislocation, Everard Read, Cape Town
Urban Axis, PS Art Space Fremantle, Perth, Australia
People and Portraiture, Everard Read, Cape Town
Beyond Binaries, Kwazulu Natal Society of Arts Museum
Past and Present Intersect, IZIKO National Gallery, Cape Town
2016 AKAA Paris Art Fair, Everard Read /CIRCA Booth. Paris
Studio, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Surface and Subtext, Everard Read, Cape Town
Essence Festival, Durban Art Gallery Museum
2015 AVA Gallery booth, Johannesburg Art Fair, Johannesburg
Brundyn+ Gallery booth, Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town
2005 The 3rd World Ceramic Biennale, Kyongg Province, Korea
2003 Annual Group Exhibition, Central Saint Martin's College of Art, London
2001 Carnival Group Exhibition, Tabernacle, Notting Hill Gate, London