Senzeni Marasela, 'covering sara baartman', 2011 
watercolour, 40.5 x 30 cm, Courtesy of AFRONOVA GALLERY
Senzeni Marasela, 'covering sara baartman', 2011 watercolour, 40.5 x 30 cm, Courtesy of AFRONOVA GALLERY 

Senzeni Marasela’s work is informed by an interest in the multiplicity contained within the experience of waiting: in the pathologies of women who are either forced to wait or choose to wait. In 2003, she started a project titled ‘Theodorah comes to Johannesburg’, a durational performance based on her mother Theodorah’s stories about travels from the rural area of Mvenyane to Johannesburg, a journey of 11 hours. Like many young black women in the city, Marasela’s mother was traumatised by events that took place in apartheid South Africa during the 1960s. The story of Theodorah never left Marasela’s work and has at times been combined with that of Sarah Baartman (who was ‘exhibited’ around nineteenth-century Europe as the ‘Hottentot Venus’) and of the artist herself.

Marasela holds a BA Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1998). Senzeni Marasela’s work — in media including embroidery, print and video as well as performance — has been widely exhibited in South Africa, Europe and USA. Her work features in prominent local and international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.