Venue: NWU Art Gallery (North-West University, Building E7, Hoffman street, Potchefstroom. 2520)

Exhibition title:  Decolonising the Book

Opening date: 6 October 2022

Closing date: 28 October 2022

The NWU Gallery in collaboration with Visual Narratives and Creative Outputs (ViNCO) and the Artists’ Book Club presents the exhibition “Decolonising the Book”. The exhibition will be available for viewing from the 6th to 28th of October 2022 at the NWU Main Gallery. 

“Decolonising the Book” is a product of the “Decolonial Book Arts Project” that was initiated in 2018 by artist and former bookseller Chris Reinders (of The African Moon Press) and developed further over the next few years by the Johannesburg Chapter of the Artist’s Book Club. This arts project’s inception was the result of the prominent, and still ongoing, calls for decolonisation, particularly those which had been driven by students in South Africa’s higher education sector. 

Reinders invited a group of individuals to engage with the theme of decolonisation through the book arts at an open meeting held at the studio of artist and lecturer Gordon Froud in Johannesburg. To avoid over-controlling the project. Reinders provided only two things – firstly, an open brief, consisting of a few quotes taken from publicity for the book “Apartheid: Britain’s Bastard Child (Transgenerational Trauma)”, and a personal reflection on the project theme; and secondly, a collection of Africana, colonial and apartheid era books, and ephemera that he had amassed during his time as a bookseller. Project participants were tasked with choosing a book from the selection provided and to use it as the starting point from which to respond to the project theme. 

The artists’ books in this exhibition are the extended responses to this invitation by Jo-Ann Chan, Cheryl Gage (who sadly passed in 2020), Erica Lüttich and Deirdre Pretorius (four members of the Artist’s Book Club). The works range from mixed media objects and redesigned volumes to a carefully curated cabinet of curiosity. All, however, make use of found objects that have been refigured through needlework, experimental printmaking, juxtaposition or digital mash-up, to contest ideas or offer new ways of seeing the found objects; and in some instances, challenging the codex as the standard book form. 

The exhibition opens at the NWU Gallery on 6 October 2022 and has a series of associated public events, ranging from online discussions and artist walkabouts to bookmaking workshops that will be hosted during the month of October.

Contact details for more information

Amohelang Mojahane (NWU Art Gallery Curator)

Tel: (018) 299 4341



Venue: NWU Botanical Gardens Gallery

Exhibition title:  Inserted Bodies

Time: 16h30 - 18H00

Opening date: 6 October 2022

Closing date: 28 October 2022


The NWU Gallery in collaboration with The Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize presents the exhibition “Inserted Bodies”. The exhibition will be available for viewing from the 6th to 28th of October 2022 at the NWU Botanical Gardens Gallery.

Inserted bodies is a debut solo exhibition by Boitumelo Motau. Motau is the recipient award winner for The Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize which is aimed at assisting young and emerging visual artists to launch their careers. The Award provided Motau with a twelve-week studio residency at Ellis House in Johannesburg.

Inserted bodies is looking and working closely with the living and inherited history of Johannesburg. “When I speak about history I am specifically speaking about the stories of the people that migrated to Johannesburg, looking all the way back to the gold rush to black men and women forced to leave their families to work in Johannesburg as miners and domestic workers and in recent years where a diverse group and Africans have migrated to Johannesburg seeking better opportunities” states Motau.  

The body of work traces and draws from the city’s migrant workers history and the ways and forms that this history is carried and continued by the current bodies that live and work in the city. Motau’s interest in looking at migration as an ever-continual process that occurs across generations and time periods. Motau has found further interests in the persistent return of things and events of the past and the various forms in which they occupy the present. The City metaphorically becomes this body that inhales, exhales, engulfs, embodies regurgitates   multiple histories and thus becoming a ever expanding archive. 

Motau has been working with ideas of insertion and collage as a way to engage and respond to dominant and collectively held historical narratives, particularly with images of early migrant work found in the Museum Africa archive and the workers museum. He attempts to insert himself within the archive and in the process personalize a shared and inherited collective history.

The exhibition opens at the NWU Gallery on 6 October 2022 and we will have the artist walkabout on the same day of the opening.


For more information, please contact NWU Art Gallery Curator, Ms Amohelang Mojahane:

Tel: (018) 299 4341





Virtual exhibitions

Attached to the Soil (NWU Gallery)

Feminism ya Mang, Feminism Yethu, Feminism Yani (Botanical Gallery)