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GALLERY: Artes Mundi 9: Dineo Seshee Bopape

GALLERY: Artes Mundi 9: Dineo Seshee Bopape

Dineo Seshee Bopape’s expansive practice deals with socio-political notions of memory—from the personal to the collective, to the known and unknown —narration and representation as interrelated forms. She demonstrates an obsession for recollection and of how personal belongings or everyday objects might critically carry significance and embed history beyond their daily use. Her work often utilises a diverse range of commonplace, elemental materials such as soil, bricks and timber with found objects and archival images, video and sound, to develop dense and powerful installations. Materials such as earth, air or water are given tangible form.

Bopape has produced a series of new, immersive works whose installation materially and conceptually connects African and US locations such as Achimota Forest, Accra, Ghana, James River, Richmond, Virginia and the Mississippi River at New Orleans. Clay and soil from these places joins with that from the Île de Gorée off the Senegal coast at Dakar—infamous as a departure point from Africa for the Atlantic slave trade—to create Master Harmoniser, a collection of over 1,000 drawings. This work combines with (Nder brick) ___ in process (Harmonic Conversions) to act as an homage to the sacrifice that Nder women in North Senegal underwent to avoid being taken as slaves.

Soil, objects, drawing and sound are presented in spaces with walls covered in washes of soil from Welsh sacred sites. Presented at both the National Museum Cardiff and Chapter, Gorree (song): Thobela: harmonic conversions is a sound work that is part lament, part evocation, part acknowledgement of ancestors. Linking place, histories and reaching across time, as a whole these works draw together the celestial and the earthly, the bodily and the metaphysical, the personal and collective, into a space of acknowledgement and healing, to create a potent atmosphere that questions that which becomes forgotten and what should be remembered.

About the Artist
Dineo Seshee Bopape, born 1981, South Africa, lives and works in Johannesburg. She is represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg.

About Artes Mundi
Artes Mundi is an internationally focused arts organisation that identifies, recognises and supports contemporary visual artists who engage with the human condition, social reality and lived experience.

It remains the UK’s largest contemporary art prize with £40,000 prize money and has previously been awarded to Theaster Gates (2015), John Akomfrah (2017), and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2019).

This year’s shortlist was selected by a jury made up of Cosmin Costinas, Executive Director and Curator of Para Site, Hong Kong and Artistic Director of Kathmandu Triennale 2020; Elvira Dyangani-Ose, Director of The Showroom gallery in London; and Rachel Kent, Chief Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.

More information:



In partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University, Artes Mundi presented the ‘At the Table’ series with artists Dineo Seshee Bopape, Carrie Mae Weems, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Firelei Báez, Meiro Koizumi and Prabhakar Pachpute. 

‘At the Table’ brought together the voices of the six Artes Mundi 9 artists alongside those of international curators, artists, historians, thinkers and writers in a series of roundtable discussions centred on themes and ideas present in their work and the interwoven relationship between histories and practices, locally to internationally

Re-watch the conversations with all of the Artes Mundi prize winners on Chapter Player here.


Entrance to Chapter Gallery is always free.

Mae mynediad i Oriel Chapter yn rhad ac am ddim bob amser. 

Gallery Opening Times: Tues – Sun, 11am – 5pm, closed Mondays

Oriau Agor Oriel: Mawrth – Sul, 11yb – 5yp, ar gau dydd Llun

Chapter Gallery is an international arts space that commissions, produces and presents contemporary visual and live art projects. We offer ambitious, challenging and wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, residencies, commissions and events by established Welsh and international artists.

Mae Oriel Chapter yn ofod celfyddydol rhyngwladol sy'n comisiynu, yn cynhyrchu ac yn cyflwyno prosiectau yn y celfyddydau gweledol a byw. Rydym yn cynnig rhaglen uchelgeisiol, heriol ac amrywiol o arddangosfeydd, cyfnodau preswyl, comisiynau a digwyddiadau gan artistiaid sefydledig o Gymru ac o bedwar ban byd.

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