Noland Oswald Dennis is rewriting the future by drawing the past.
Born in Zambia, and raised in Johannesburg, this 28-year-old FNB Art Prize winner is currently completing an MSc in Art, Culture and Technology at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
Dennis’s history with transformative spaces began in the early ‘90s, when his parents returned from exile, and he was thrust into postapartheid South Africa. Using drawing to process exclusion and frustration with his surroundings, he soon became fixated with African history.
Here, he tries to reshape physical and symbolic spaces in a new South Africa. This exploration of space continued when he worked at firms in Seoul and Johannesburg after graduating from Wits University with an architectural degree in 2012.
Expressing a passion to pursue all facets of his ideas, he not only works in paint and installation, but has also collaborated with performance art bands like The Brother Moves On. He started NTU, a decolonial digital collective with fellow artists, and taught at the Wits University’s School of Architecture and Planning.
With a strong passion for the African narrative, Dennis says he hopes to contribute in some small way to a Black Consciousness of space.
“I live by the words: The burden of the oppressed is to see the world as it really is.”