Nando’s unearths new art talent under art initiative Nando’s Creative Exchange

By Edward Tsumele,

Internationally reputed brand Nando’s, famous for its spicey chicken dishes as it is for its support of contemporary art from southern Africa, has this year made its pick of artists for its successful art initiative Nando’s Creative Exchange (NCX).

This programme since it was launched in 2011, has gone on to distinguish itself in art development by choosing and mentoring artists whose career soar and they go on to make a significant footprint on the contemporary art market. The artists that have been unearthed through NCX have gone on to shine, making the programme to be one of the few that have succeeded in art development in southern Africa.

Therefore the four artists that have been chosen this year will travel on a much smoother visual art path, already paved by those that have travelled the same journey, and are now somewhere higher in their artistic careers.

The four artists chosen this year, come from different backgrounds and their ages are also varied, bringing a balanced mix of experiences and perspectives, which hopefully will show in their art practice during this one year mentorship journey.

“The Nando’s Creative Exchange (NCX) is our flagship artist development programme. We first started it in 2011 and although it’s grown and evolved, the aim is the same – to recognise emerging, Southern African fine artists who demonstrate exceptional ability. We’re excited to announce the names of the four artists who have been selected for this year’s programme: Velile Soha, Sifiso Temba, Tanja Truscott and Simon Venter.

NCX is administered by our art partner, Spier Arts Trust. They nominate promising artists and we select four for the programme every year. Spier Arts Trust also selects a mentor who works with the artists over the course of the year, along with the Spier Arts Trust curator, to provide guidance, support and curatorial input,” Nandos states in a statement released this week after the unveiling of the new artists for 2022.

The artists are not left to work alone under this initiative as they are supported in various ways throughout the process

“Nando’s sponsors art materials and sets up opportunities for the artists to showcase their work. We also profile the artists and their exhibition through our own marketing and PR channels to maximise their exposure. The programme culminates in the artists producing a group exhibition. From one opportunity to show the exhibition, NCX has grown to showing it at multiple galleries and online. The idea behind NCX is to help artists to develop their professional practice and grow their industry networks and exposure,” Nando’s adds.

This year the artists will be guided by Pippa Hetherington, a South African photographer and visual artist whose art practice asks questions around family, history, heritage, trauma and memory.

About the artists

Velile Soha

Velile was born in Cape Town in 1957 and developed an interest in art from a very young age. Encouraged to pursue his talent as an adult, he attended the Community Art Project (CAPP) and from 1981 to 1983 he studied at Rorke`s Drift Art School in Kwazulu-Natal. He also worked and lectured at the Nyanga Art Centre and Community Art Project, Cape Town. As full-time artist Velile`s work featured in several solo and group exhibitions across South Africa and in Namibia, Germany, U.S.A, England, Argentina, Holland, Sweden, Canada and Wales.

There are currently a whopping 239 of Velile’s works in the Nando’s collection!


Sifiso Temba

Sifiso works in multidisciplinary mediums including printmaking, painting, drawing and sculpture. His work explores the condition of hopelessness. He uses animal figures to place emphasis on the faceless nature of despair, drawing on personal experience, spirituality and local reference to narrate the complexity of this issue.

Sifiso was born in 1989. Living in Vosloorus, a township in Gauteng, Temba completed a three-year printmaking course at Artist Proof Studio in 2015. He has worked as a facilitator and a print technician.

In 2020, he was part of the Lockdown Collection for The Vulnerable Artist Fund. His artwork has been represented in numerous art fairs and exhibitions. Temba’s latest group exhibition was the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair and he has one of his artworks in the Nando’s collection.

Tanja Truscott

Tanya’s artwork is born from a fascination with painterly abstraction and the power it has to engage us visually and emotionally. She works quickly and intuitively and is inspired by literature, poetry and music… and just as easily by sounds and sensations from the outdoors. She says any of these can be the impetus for the colours and tools, the marks made and the shapes that emerge. She enjoys layering and as the layers of paint build up, they simultaneously reveal and hide what is underneath – covered up yet visible.

Tanya was born in the Netherlands in 1961 but is now living and working in Cape Town. She completed a BA in Graphic Design from the University of Stellenbosch in 1984 and a Diploma in Secondary Teaching in 1990 from the University of Cape Town. She taught art and then, after many years spent in educational publishing as an illustrator, graphic designer and art director, she turned to painting full time in 2009. Tanya’s most recent group exhibitions in Cape Town were in 2019 and include New Light at No 5 on Hudson and Nano 1.3 at the Barnard Gallery. Her work is represented in private collections both locally and abroad, including currently 12 of her artworks in the Nando’s collection

Simon Venter

Simon is a self-taught artist who enjoys land, seascapes and abstracts but tends to gear towards portraiture. Capturing a person’s story is something he finds invigorating and refreshing. His ambition is to create artwork that is true to himself.

He describes his artwork as ever evolving and is looking forward to the journey his art career is taking him on. His preferred medium is oil, but he also works in graphite, soft pastels, and charcoal. Inspired by people and the cultural landscape of South Africa, he wants the viewer to engage with his work and derive their own insights.

Although he was born in East London in the Eastern Cape in 1997, Venter grew up in Hilton (KwaZulu-Natal), moving to Gqeberha when he finished school. He has participated in several group exhibitions. Recent ones have included Captcha Colour with Artyli in 2021 and Process at ArtEC in 2019. Simon was also shortlisted as one of the finalists in the StateoftheART Gallery Award in 2019.

Recently, two of his portraits placed in the Top 100 of the 2021 Sanlam Portrait Award at the Rupert Museum, Stellenbosch. He also placed in the Top 45 of the annual Vuleka Art Competition in 2021. Currently, there are five of his artworks in the Nando’s collection.

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