Gawie JOUBERT - Artist in residence, June-October, 2017


Gawie Joubert’s work is an exploration of his own identity. Though his ink and charcoal figures, the artist interweaves his understanding of himself in relation to nature and memory.

Joubert takes his cue from his childhood memories. The artist grew up in a small town on the North coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Here he began his adoration of nature. His parents educated him on fauna and flora and he fondly remembers spending countless hours playing, exploring, climbing and building forts in the forest.

Based on these early memories, the artist constructs charcoal figures that appear to be made of bark, twigs and leaves. These ethereal figures are a catalyst for his own identity. The artist interprets the fluid manner in which one’s identity is formed as vines – climbing and creeping over these figures. Much like personal identity, the growth and transformation of a plant is ever- changing. The use of items like feathers, mushrooms and plastic thoughts are inspired by ash memories from Joubert’s childhood. He believes that his adult identity was formed by these memories of experience from his childhood and they will always be embedded in him.

Nature and drawing is and has always been a form of escapism for Joubert. During his artistic process, he reminisces on childhood memories and feelings that are evoked when being in nature. The peaceful, happy and content moments of not being conned by anyone or any social structures. Since a young age, Joubert felt uneasy with a patriarchal construct of identity.

Joubert has always seen nature as his biggest inspiration. A place where nature and humans connect and create a synergy. A place where imagination has no limits and the mundane resurrects into new magical beings.


Born in 1988, Empangeni, South Africa
Lives and works in Durban South Africa


2007-2010 Honours Graphic Design, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Professional experience

2014 Freelance artist
2012-2014 Designer and illustrator, Garage East, Johannesburg, ZA
2011-2012 Art Director, Joe Public, Johannesburg, ZA


2014 Top 100 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards
2012 John Caples International Awards (Gold)
BEES Awards (Gold)
Pendoring (Gold) 
Loerie (Gold)
2011 Pendoring Finalist
Loerie Finalist

Solo exhibitions

2017 Rust en Vrede, Cape Town, ZA  (November)
2016 Biophilia, Curated by Megan Kidd, In Toto Gallery, Johannesburg, ZA

Group exhibitions (selected)

2017 New Beginnings, Red Room Unplugged, Cape Town, ZA
2016 30 x 30 Rust en Vrede, Cape Town, ZA
World art Dubai Red Room booth, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, AE
That Art Fair, Red Room booth, The Palms, Cape Town, ZA
SAADA, Red Room booth, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, ZA
2015 Spring, The Art Room, Johannesburg, ZA
Young Collectors, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria, ZA
Games People Play, Clover Aardklop Festival, Potchefstroom, ZA
Turbine Art Fair, In Toto booth, Turbine Hall, Johannesburg, ZA
#Voices against xenophobia, Greenside Quarter, Johannesburg, ZA
Fresh Young Talent, Curated by Megan Kidd, In Toto Gallery, Johannesburg, ZA
2014 The Benediction of Shade II - Joburg: City of Trees, David Krut, Johannesburg, ZA
Salon I, Curated by Ann-Marie, upstairs@bamboo, Johannesburg, ZA
Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards, Coen Scholtz Recreational Centre, Johannesburg, ZA
Joburg Fringe, AERIAL EMPIRE, Johannesburg, ZA
Colour in the Forest of Winter, The Art Room, Johannesburg, ZA
Turbine Art Fair, In Toto booth, Turbine Hall, Johannesburg, ZA
Menagerie, Curated by Megan Kidd, In Toto Gallery, Johannesburg, ZA
Gold Rush, Curated by Megan Kidd, In Toto Gallery, Johannesburg, ZA
2013 Alice in Wonderland, curated by Gordon Froud, Long Street Art Lovers, Pretoria, ZA
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