National Arts Festival 2021


Wezile Harmans (b. 1990, Port Elizabeth) is a visual art practitioner whose interdisciplinary practice encompasses performance, video, installation, and mixed-media artworks as a tool for social change. His work confronts prejudices and advocates against social inequality, creating a platform for critical self- reflexivity within unwelcoming spaces.

Wezile’s work is influenced by how things have come to existence, as well as motivations behind certain movements, reactions, human behaviours and mostly how these become symbols. In his practice, he uses the theory of defamiliarization as an alternative way to create further conversations. Wezile’s noted international projects include a video performance with LEAD Project and LSE Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (London); M1/M2 highway billboard feature by The Centre for the Less Good Idea (Johannesburg); and a film by human rights defender Hub Artivism and University of York (CAHR) (UK).

His work has been acquired by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum; and ArtbankSA, National Museum of South Africa in Bloemfontein. Wezile’s project ‘Umdiyadiya’ received the 2022 Best Visual Art Award in
Creative Collection by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences. He was a
finalist in the 2020 Arts & Culture Trust Awards and was the recipient of the 2019 David Koloane Award. He’s recently announced as one of the Prince Claus Fund Building Beyond Mentorship recipient.

His performance work has been witnessed in South Africa at Iziko South African National
Gallery, Norval Foundation, National Arts Festival, FNB Art Joburg, Latitudes Art Fair, AVA Gallery, UJ Art Gallery, Museum of African Design, South African State Theatre, Bag Factory Artist Studios, PIAD ( Programme for Innovation in Artform Development) developed by the Vrystaat Arts Festival and the University of the Free State in partnership with Public Art Project, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Internationally he has presented his performance work at Hangar (Portugal), and he has participated in several residencies including SIRA residency (Madagascar), OpenLab residency (Karoo/Bloemfontein), Griffin Art Projects ‘Virtual Worldings’ Residency Exchange (Canada/RSA), BODYLAND residency (Hogsback), and PACT Zollverein (Germany). In January 2023 he will participate in the Krone x WHATIFTHEWORLD residency programme at Twee Jonge Gezellen in Tulbagh, Western Cape.


Find me at : https://linktr.ee/wezileart  

Contact me at : wezileart@gmail.com