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. In 2018, Petersen held her solo exhibition IQRA at WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town. She has hosted additional solo exhibitions in 2016 at the AVA, Cape Town and in 2017 at the Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions both locally and abroad, including Radical Love, at the Ford Foundation, New York (2019) and Present Passing: South by Southeast, at the Osage Art Foundation, Hong Kong (2019). Petersen was awarded the Thami Mnyele Residency in Amsterdam in 2019.
Petersen is represented in various public and private collections including The Durban Art Gallery, The IZIKO South African National Gallery, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), The Kilbourn Collection, The Jochen Zeitz Collection, and The Yeojoo City Collection, South Korea.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
|2019||Thania Petersen Selected Works, No Mans Art Gallery, Amsterdam|
|Unraveled, commissioned performance, Afrovibes, Compagnietheatre, Amsterdam|
|Between Land and a Raised Foot, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown|
|IQRA - IQRA, WHATIFTHEWORLD|
|2017||Remnants - Remnants, Everard Read, Cape Town|
|2015||I AM ROYAL - I AM ROYAL, AVA Gallery, Cape Town|
Selected Group Exhibitions
|2019||Breaking the Rules: SA Artists Ask Questions... Old Rules... New Rules? Durban Art Gallery, Durban|
|Interactive Aesthetics, William Humphreys Art Gallery, South Africa|
|Curitiba Biennale, Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Brazil|
|Radical Love, Ford Foundation, New York|
|Present Passing: South by Southeast, Osage Art Foundation, Hong Kong|
|Vantage Point Sharjah 7, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE|
|2018||Everard Read Gallery booth, Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town|
|2017||Urban Axis, PS Art Space Fremantle, Perth, Australia|
|Dislocation, Everard Read, Cape Town|
|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|
|Past and Present Intersect, IZIKO National Gallery, Cape Town|
|Beyond Binaries, Kwazulu Natal Society of Arts Museum|
|People and Portraiture, Everard Read, Cape Town|
|Beauty & its Beasts: Has the female stereotype changed? Durban Art Gallery, Durban|
|2016||Surface and Subtext, Everard Read, Cape Town|
|Essence Festival, Durban Art Gallery Museum|
|AKAA Paris Art Fair, Everard Read /CIRCA Booth. Paris|
|Studio, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town|
|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|