Visual artist Igshaan Adams is revolutionising the game.
The winner of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art is finding creative and refreshing ways to discuss faith, gender and identity. His lavish tapestries and sculptures are made from found fabrics, strings, beads and steel.
Feeling overwhelmed, the visual winner adds that the award means a lot because there's no application process – someone will anonymously nominate he says.
It was a funny moment because I was at a low point where things haven’t been going well for the last week and I was just questioning. Then I received this call, it was a surreal moment.— Igshaan Adams, Visual Artist
The 35-year old artist was born to Muslim parents and raised by Christian grandparents in a community racially classified as ‘coloured’ under Apartheid. As a liberal Muslim, he occupies a precarious place in his religious community because of his homosexuality.
The complexity for me in the beginning of my career made this more of a focus. The complexity of my identity around being born Muslim.— Igshaan Adams, Visual Artist
Adams work speaks to his quiet activism and experiences of racial, religious and sexual liminality while breaking with the strong, representational or figurative convention found in recent South African art. He uses the material and formaliconographies of Islam and ‘coloured’ culture to develop a more equivocal, phenomenological approach towards these concerns and offer a novel, affective view of cultural hybridity.
The visual artist has been selected for a number of artist residencies, among them the Sommerakademie im Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland and the IAAB / Pro Helvetia residency, Basel, Switzerland. His held seven solo exhibitions at blank projects (Cape Town), A Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam), Rongwrong Gallery (Amsterdam), Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town) and AVA Gallery (Cape Town).
Adams has also participated in numerous group shows both locally and internationally including: 'Les jour qui vient' (2017) curated by Marie Ann Yemsi at the Galerie des Galeries in Paris, 'Sacre du Printemps' (2015) curated by AA Bronson at the Grazer Kunstverein in Graz and 'Barriers' (2015) at the Wanås Foundation in Knislinge, Sweden.
Listen to the full interview in the link below...