Nadine Noluthando Mathenjwa is a young artist whose work focuses on the blending of cultures introduced to her ancestors by Western society. As a young black woman finding her identity in a society where knowledge of native cultures has been diluted.
She finds solace and self-expression through fashion. Fashion has become an integral part of her evolved culture, serving as a means to express her identity and individuality. Mathenjwa’s body of work pays homage to the lifestyle choices made by her ancestors and family in the face of colonization.
However, it also explores the subcultures that have emerged among millennials and Gen Z, particularly those related to fashion, luxury, and the “ghetto fabulous” lifestyle. These subcultures have played a significant role in reshaping the narrative around being young, African, and cultured.
In her art, Mathenjwa often incorporates tribal patterns onto her figures. These patterns are a representation of the knowledge she uncovers through watching documentaries and reading books on African spirituality and ancient beliefs.
Through her use of patterns, she aims to challenge the negative connotations and misconceptions surrounding African spirituality and rituals. It’s evident that Nadine’s work is a powerful exploration of her own identity and the complex interplay between heritage, and personal expression.