Local to showcase her work at the fair

2019-02-05 06:20
Zyma Amien.

Zyma Amien.

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Pinelands based artist Zyma Amien (56) will be one of the local artists in the spotlight in the 2019 Tomorrows/Today section at the upcoming Investec Cape Town Art Fair.

The special section is dedicated to shining the spotlight on emerging and under-represented artists from around the globe.

“I come from a lineage of making. My family made everything, from wedding dresses, dresses, headpieces, bridal rooms, even building houses. My mother was a seamstress and my father a carpenter, so I suppose making is in my blood. I have always been making, but I did not think of it as art. Only when I started studying art, did I understand that a concept is the idea and then to make it visual, one must make the idea. Therefore, I did not wake up one day and decide to do art – I probably always made art,” says Amien.

“I have been in this industry since 2008 when I started studying at Unisa until 2013 and furthered my studies at Michaelis School of Fine Art to finish a Master’s in 2015. That was the start of my art career. I was not allowed to study at UCT (University of Cape Town) in the 1980s.”

Amien completed her Master’s (cum laude) at UCT after graduating from Unisa with a Bachelor of Visual Arts.

Amien was born in Lansdowne and grew up in Athlone. She also lived in Kensington before moving to Pinelands.

“My inspiration comes from looking at my environment as well as current, contemporary socio-political issues. My work is concept based. So, I research my idea and then find ways of showing the idea by making art. It can be installation, drawings or paintings,” says Amien.

Her practice covers printmaking, drawing, installation and digital video, and is often concerned with socio-political issues of the garment and textile industries, which, until recently, have been central to the industrial landscape of the city. It is informed by her heritage stemming from her lineage of women who worked in this industry for several generations.

“My link to the industry stems from my generation of seamstresses. I listened to my mother talk about the challenges of the industry, I watched her work behind the machine and then I started my research.

“My main concern is the exploitation and alienation that the workers endure. Today the industry faces new challenges as the fourth industrial revolution promises to affect manufacturing. The research shows that this is not just a local problem, but a global one,” says Amien.

Currently Amien is a lecturer at Unisa as well as a part-time assistant lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT. She works full time as an artist.

“I do art full time. There is so much learning that an artist needs to do,” she says.

This will be her first time as part of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair.

“I am very nervous but excited to be part of the fair. I am indebted to Art First’s Clare Cooper and Olga Speakes for granting me this opportunity,” she says.

Amien won the PPC Re-image Concrete competition in 2012 and in 2016 she won the Sasol New Signature competition.

“I would encourage young people to consider art as a career because art is a very powerful career. It challenges you to think about things from different angles. You have to set your own pace, learn new things every day, be informed about the world, the latest news, be willing to take criticism, be strong... and the list goes on, yet it is a very rewarding career.

“Often the trajectory of professionals is in one straight line, but the creative artists have multiple trajectories. The job of an artist is to comment on the wrongs in society and then make it visual,” says Amien.

This year a record number of galleries from around the world are taking part in the fair, making it the largest art fair on the African continent to date and going forward – an important milestone and attraction for South Africa.

The seventh edition of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 February.

Pinelands based artist Zyma Amien (56) will be one of the local artists in the spotlight in the 2019 Tomorrows/Today section at the upcoming Investec Cape Town Art Fair. The special section is dedicated to shining the spotlight on emerging and under-represented artists from around the globe.“I come from a lineage of making. My family made everything, from wedding dresses, dresses, headpieces, bridal rooms, even building houses. My mother was a seamstress and my father a carpenter, so I suppose making is in my blood. I have always been making, but I did not think of it as art. Only when I started studying art, did I understand that a concept is the idea and then to make it visual, one must make the idea. Therefore, I did not wake up one day and decide to do art – I probably always made art,” says Amien.

“I have been in this industry since 2008 when I started studying at Unisa until 2013 and furthered my studies at Michaelis School of Fine Art to finish a Master’s in 2015. That was the start of my art career. I was not allowed to study at UCT in the 1980s.”

Amien completed her Master’s (cum laude) at UCT after graduating from Unisa with a Bachelor of Visual Arts.

Amien was born in Lansdowne and grew up in Athlone. She also lived in Kensington before moving to Pinelands. “My inspiration comes from looking at my environment as well as current, contemporary socio-political issues. My work is concept based. So, I research my idea and then find ways of showing the idea by making art. It can be installation, drawings or paintings,” says Amien.

Her practice covers printmaking, drawing, installation and digital video, and is often concerned with socio-political issues of the garment and textile industries, which, until recently, have been central to the industrial landscape of the city. It is informed by her heritage stemming from her lineage of women who worked in this industry for several generations.“My link to the industry stems from my generation of seamstresses. I listened to my mother talk about the challenges of the industry, I watched her work behind the machine and then I started my research. My main concern is the exploitation and alienation that the workers endure. Today the industry faces new challenges as the fourth industrial revolution promises to affect manufacturing. The research shows that this is not just a local problem, but a global one,” says Amien.

Her work is included in the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union collection.

Currently she is a lecturer at Unisa as well as a part-time assistant lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT. She works full time as an artist.

“I do art full time. There is so much learning that an artist needs to do,” she says.

This will be her first time as part of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair.

“I am very nervous but excited to be part of the fair. I am indebted to Art First’s Clare Cooper and Olga Speakes for granting me this opportunity,” she says.

Amien won the PPC Re-image Concrete competition in 2012 and in 2016 she won the Sasol New Signature competition.

“I would encourage young people to consider art as a career because art is a very powerful career. It challenges you to think about things from different angles. You have to set your own pace, learn new things every day, be informed about the world, the latest news, be willing to take criticism, be strong... and the list goes on, yet it is a very rewarding career.

“Often the trajectory of professionals is in one straight line, but the creative artists have multiple trajectories. The job of an artist is to comment on the wrongs in society and then make it visual,” says Amien.

This year a record number of galleries from around the world are taking part in the fair, making it the largest art fair on the African continent to date and going forward – an important milestone and attraction for South Africa. The seventh edition of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 February.

Pinelands based artist Zyma Amien (56) will be one of the local artists in the spotlight in the 2019 Tomorrows/Today section at the upcoming Investec Cape Town Art Fair.

The special section is dedicated to shining the spotlight on emerging and under-represented artists from around the globe.

“I come from a lineage of making. My family made everything, from wedding dresses, dresses, headpieces, bridal rooms, even building houses.

“My mother was a seamstress and my father a carpenter, so I suppose making is in my blood.

“I have always been making, but I did not think of it as art. Only when I started studying art, did I understand that a concept is the idea and then to make it visual, one must make the idea. Therefore, I did not wake up one day and decide to do art – I probably always made art,” says Amien.

“I have been in this industry since 2008 when I started studying at Unisa until 2013 and furthered my studies at Michaelis School of Fine Art to finish a Master’s in 2015.

“That was the start of my art career. I was not allowed to study at UCT (University of Cape Town) in the 1980s.”

Amien completed her Master’s (cum laude) at UCT after graduating from Unisa with a Bachelor of Visual Arts.

Amien was born in Lansdowne and grew up in Athlone. She also lived in Kensington before moving to Pinelands.

“My inspiration comes from looking at my environment as well as current, contemporary socio-political issues. My work is concept based. So, I research my idea and then find ways of showing the idea by making art. It can be installation, drawings or paintings,” says Amien.

Her practice covers printmaking, drawing, installation and digital video, and is often concerned with socio-political issues of the garment and textile industries, which, until recently, have been central to the industrial landscape of the city.

It is informed by her heritage stemming from her lineage of women who worked in this industry for several generations.

“My link to the industry stems from my generation of seamstresses. I listened to my mother talk about the challenges of the industry, I watched her work behind the machine and then I started my research.

“My main concern is the exploitation and alienation that the workers endure. Today the industry faces new challenges as the fourth industrial revolution promises to affect manufacturing. The research shows that this is not just a local problem, but a global one,” says Amien.

Currently Amien is a lecturer at Unisa as well as a part-time assistant lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT. She works full time as an artist.

“I do art full time. There is so much learning that an artist needs to do,” she says.

This will be her first time as part of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair.

“I am very nervous but excited to be part of the fair. I am indebted to Art First’s Clare Cooper and Olga Speakes for granting me this opportunity,” she says.

Amien won the PPC Re-image Concrete competition in 2012 and in 2016 she won the Sasol New Signature competition.

“I would encourage young people to consider art as a career because art is a very powerful career.

“It challenges you to think about things from different angles.

“You have to set your own pace, learn new things every day, be informed about the world, the latest news, be willing to take criticism, be strong... and the list goes on, yet it is a very rewarding career.

“Often the trajectory of professionals is in one straight line, but the creative artists have multiple trajectories. The job of an artist is to comment on the wrongs in society and then make it visual,” says Amien.

This year a record number of galleries from around the world are taking part in the fair, making it the largest art fair on the African continent to date and going forward – an important milestone and attraction for South Africa.

The seventh edition of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 February.

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