Artist Alliance: Live Art, Be Heard

"Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.”Keith Haring

For the last 30 years, the V&A Waterfront has been an ally to the arts and has made a long-term commitment to the arts industry in Cape Town. With initiatives such as 100 Beautiful Things, Joy from Africa to the World and Take the Stage, we celebrate and champion the richness of the talent, projects and people that embody the creativity and resilience of South Africa.

It is for this reason that we have developed Artist Alliance, an incubator platform aimed at co-creating space and opportunities for young artists to freely explore their artistic perspectives.. This will be done through guidance, knowledge sharing, and mentor support; all of which is intended to help turn talent into marketable skills and sustainable careers. In addition, Artist Alliance is a built on the belief that it is through the creation of a creative community we can play a role in amplifying young artist voices and fostering their creative passion.

Incubator programme

The V&A Waterfront Artist Alliance is designed to give 10 incubatees practical experience, and skills across five creative disciplines (fine art, video/ photography, film, illustration, and design). Five creative industry leaders will select two incubatees who best fit their discipline and experience. The young creatives who have been selected will receive essential business skills such as marketing, pitching for new business and running media platforms.

Anyone wishing to apply will be required to submit a portfolio of their work, including a letter of motivation. The submission should include a biography or summative description as well as few images of the applicant and their work.

Applications are open for anyone who is based in Cape Town and aged between 18 and 30.


Meet the Mentors

Artist Alliance aims to support creative self-starters to get their careers off the ground with the right mix of practical advice and industry knowledge. The programme will not only teach business skills but also give you access to mentorship opportunities from seven leading creative industry experts:

Atang Tshikare

Atang Tshikare


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Atang Tshikare is a Cape Town-based, self-taught multidisciplinary artist. Born in Bloemfontein in 1980, he was influenced from a young age by the visual storytelling and graphic style of his father, an anti-Apartheid activist and illustrator for various pan-African publications and art magazines. Over the last twenty years, Atang’s practice has evolved from street art and drawings to limited-edition collectible design, intersecting narrative-laden sculptural furniture and functional art.

Tshikare expresses his distinct visionary African identity through a unique visual language. Founding Zabalazaa Designs in 2010, Atang has collaborated with local artists and worked on commissions for companies such as Chimurenga Magazine, Adidas Originals, BMW, MTV Base, Belvedere Vodka and Nandos, to name a few.

He is a recipient of the Future Found Award by Southern Guild Design Foundation in 2014 and the M & G Top 200 Young South Africans in 2015. He was a judge for the Elle Decór Solve Competition (2015), the Dezeen Awards (2019) judge as well as a nominator for the British Design Museum Beazley Awards (2019).

Celeste Arendse


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Celeste Arendse is the designer/founder of Cape Town based clothing label SELFI. Designed with the modern women in mind, Celeste has carefully positioned herself as one of the leading sustainable independent fashion labels within South Africa.

After completing her Fashion Design degree at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, she was appointed as studio manager at Cape Town based luxury fashion label Malcolm Kluk & CDGT.

With the modern global conscious consumer in mind, Celeste has carved a loyal niche market within South Africa and is steadily growing within the international market space. Each collection focuses on exploring aspects of South African culture and identity, with a firm continuous undertone which promotes wellness and sustainability.

Celeste Arendse
Nadia ‘Nardstar’ Fischer

Nadia ‘Nardstar’ Fischer


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Nardstar* is a South African street artist based in Cape Town. Her unique geometric-esque style has propelled her to the top of Africa’s growing urban art universe while continually flaunting her humble nature and love for traditional graffiti lettering.

Freshness and persistence has awarded her major accolades, including packaging designs for brands such as Castle Lite beer, sneaker customisation for Converse, window displays for Woolworths and large-scale murals for aquariums and residential buildings, to international festivals and artist residencies in France, Brazil, and the USA on more than one occasion, adding her name to walls of fame, and blessing the Nike worldwide headquarters with her talent.

Formidable and flexible, she continues to wield her spray can to gain further notoriety, delving into relatable stories and pushing her own creative exploits to new heights.

Earl Abrahams


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Earl Abrahams is a Johannesburg based photo artist,who originates from Bonteheuwel, Cape Town and runs a boutique production company called Uneek Mvmnt Media.

Abrahams’ background (10+ years) in the Social Development/NPO sector as a programme coordinator and project manager; facilitating and coordinating youth employment programmes, significantly impacted the way he creates and sees the world.

His work straddles between themes of identity, heritage etc and he is currently exploring ways of (collaboratively with communities) archiving and democratising information pertaining to these themes through the concept of Mobile Museums existing in communities.

Earl Abrahams
Mrs + Mr Luke

Mrs + Mr Luke


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Mrs + Mr Luke are dynamic artist duo Al Luke and Faatimah Mohamed-Luke.

Al Luke working as ALFA has set out to create works with complete honesty documenting his experiences visually in a very distinct manner. His artwork makes use of an expressive abstract style with the aim of visually translating personal and societal connections between humanity and theories within the fields of science, biology and mathematics. Thus far he has explored his style through a variety of media with a current focus on acrylic paint / markers and spray paint. The intention of the artist is to create and expose a new African style, which challenges the definitive global views and opinions of art in South Africa.

Faatimah Mohamed-Luke is a visual artist and designer based in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2003 she graduated from Cape Town University of Technology with ND: Fashion and began her creative journey as a founding partner of SA designer brand ‘adam&eve’. Within the fashion design industry, she has honed her artistic and entrepreneurial skills, having participated in fashion weeks and exhibitions globally for over a decade. She has since shifted her focus to art and interior design. She hopes to constantly blur the line between art and design as she evolves and grows on her journey through various creative avenues.

Storm Janse van Rensburg


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Storm Janse van Rensburg is a curator of contemporary art who has worked in a South African and international context for the past 25 years. He currently serves as Senior Curator and Head of Curatorial Affairs at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa.

Janse van Rensburg started his career at the Market Theatre Galleries, Johannesburg (1995 - 1999) and served as curator of the KwaZulu Natal Society of the Arts in Durban (2000 - 2006).

He was a founding member of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) and senior curator at Goodman Gallery Cape Town (2007 - 2012). He has also edited and written for a number of exhibition catalogues and contributed to African Arts Journal, Art South Africa, Metropolis M, Canvas and Contemporary And magazines amongst others, and was editor of the monograph Jacob Lawrence: Lines of Influence (2020).

Storm Janse van Rensburg

#LiveArtBeHeard


Meet the Artist Alliance Collaborators

To bring the Artist Alliance vision to life, we have collaborated with 5 cutting-edge young artists, creatives and creators. Each of them have graciously brought their unique artistic voice to help us tell the Artist Alliance story. We encourage you to follow their pages, read their stories and support their initiatives #LiveArtBeHeard

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Gcobisa Yako

25, filmmaker

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My name is Gcobisa Yako and we were born in the small city of Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape. We have a BA in psychology and philosophy and an honours in directing and writing.

Currently, we are based in Cape Town exploring the commercial space to garner more experience, however - documentary is our true love. Archiving being our soulmate.

Our experience in existing in both the rural and suburban areas forced us to realise the beauty the rurals hold despite its poverty-stricken reality - and thus developed our passion in exploring the beauty of areas where marginalized communities
have created spaces for themselves.

Our aim is to create a cinema representative of the versatility and ordinary lives of black and brown South Africans, archive it all so that those who come after us have some kind of blue print as opposed to the blank canvas we find ourselves trying to colour with very little sense of direction and history.

Robyn Keyser

27, Fashion Designer, founder Artclub & Friends

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Artclub and Friends is a unisex label handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa. It was founded by Robyn Keyser in November 2016, because she wanted to build a people-focused brand that all artists can call home. A brand where artists can express themselves freely and trust that support will always be available to them on their journeys.

We are artists, who work with artists to make clothes for artists. We're here for the dreamers, the creators and the innovators. But beyond making beautiful clothes to inspire you to get up and chase your dreams, we exist to reconnect you to the profound process of making clothes - the stories of the people and their hands that make it all possible.

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Talia Ramkilawan

25, Fine Arts

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Central to Talia Ramkilawan’s practice is rug hooking, a slow, accumulative process with which she creates her “tapestry adjacent” wall pieces. Her more recent preoccupations include platonic intimacy as expressed in text (the words of friends spoken or sent). “My work is about forging a sense of community and healing particular to the post-apartheid generation,” she offers. “It deals with subverting the image of family trauma by healing through making and by creating a presence. I have placed an emphasis on community and the ‘Indian experience’ – which is so important in cultural and art production – disrupting the linear narrative, exposing how traumas of the past resonate in the present. My inspiration comes from my own family dynamics and my own specific experience with South Asian identity, culture, and trauma." Talia is an artist and teacher living and working in Cape Town.

Ishaarah Arnold

27, Graphic Designer and Illustrator

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Ishaarah is a Cape Town born-and-raised graphic designer and illustrator with 6 years agency experience across design disciplines - from illustration to branding to art direction to user interface design.

In 2014 Ishaarah graduated with a final year Cum Laude at the University of Stellenboch with a four-year Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, Visual Communications Design. In 2016 she was selected as part of the class of Emerging Creatives from the prestigious Design Indaba for her illustration work; which has led to media features in publications like Visi Magazine as well as national radio and TV appearances.

In 2021, Ishaarah launched a ten-piece collection with global giant SHEIN. The collection features her latest illustration style where use of bold colours and continuous lines speak to the emotion and diversity of everyday life.

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Tandile Mbatsha

25, Performance artist

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Tandile is a performance artist, choreographic-activist, educator, speaker, host, producer, model and scholar based in Cape Town, South Africa. They have performed at PERFORMA17 Biennale in New York and featured in Zoe Modiga's set at Afropunk. Performed an art installation with Viviers Studio at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and opened for FAKA at the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival. Produced the Solo Ball, a film, on the virtual National Arts Festival curated programme and recently hosted and managed the event for Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education’s Pocket Queerpedia launch. They have also worked with internationally acclaimed artist Zanele Muholi.

Tandile premiered their work ‘Intyatyambo Iyaphuma Engxondorheni’ at Gavin Krastin’s Arcade, an annual nomadic platform. They seek to break hegemonic notions of existence through the use of performance art to bring about critical awareness of the LGBTIQ+ community. They identify as a gender non-conforming body living in an intersectional “male” body and are a masters candidate at the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies through the Institute for Creative Arts.

#LiveArtBeHeard