My favourite room By fine artist Nandipha Mntambo
Fine artist Nandipha Mntambo invites us into her eclectic lounge.
Nandipha Mntambo is as striking as the loft apartment in Joburg’s CBD where she’s lived for the past three years. At 33, the charismatic artist has a string of accolades to her name, from being represented by the prestigious Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town to her nomination as Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Visual Art in 2011.
And so it makes total sense that her own work features throughout her home, which she describes as “a beautiful space in which to accommodate both my creative work and my personal life.”
Nandipha’s treasured possessions include two sculpted heads found during a trip to the Egun market in Nigeria’s Benin City, “which is where many old bronze castings were made.” The woman in the headpiece is one of her favourite pieces. “Although she’s so heavy that my then-boyfriend had to carry her back for me!” she explains.
The couch has been in Nandipha’s life for 10 years, since she was a student at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. “It has great sentimental value to me, having been reupholstered quite a few times, and I’ve decorated it with cushions from the Keiskamma Trust, which is an Eastern Cape organisation that supports women in rural areas. ”
As for the striking candleholder, it’s the Menorah, used to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. “I attended King David, a Jewish primary school, so menorahs are exquisite and familiar to me,” she says. “I collect them whenever I can.”
“This portrait is one of my iconic photographic works. It’s titled Europa.” “The skull was hand-carved by Richard Polie, a sculptor from Limpopo.” “I don’t watch TV, so books keep me busy and informed.”