Prof Janine Allen-Spies obtained her BA (1992), MA (1995), and PhD (2017) degrees in Fine Arts at the University of the Free State. She works as an artist, image philosopher, and associate professor in Fine Arts at the UFS. As a visual artist, Prof Allen-Spies (also known as ‘The Brusher’) has won several competitions and is the first artist in the country to be selected for the prestigious international UNESCO-Aschberg Residencies for Artists Programme, of which only two artists from the African continent (in all categories including drama, dance, and theatre arts) were elected. Other notable awards include the International Free State Arts Festival and an Audience Award at the esteemed Spier Contemporary Biennale, Cape Town (2010). In 2017, her PhD exhibition: The Visionary Brusher Game received the ABSA Visual Arts Award. Among other various experimental techniques she employs in her work, she also uses digital pinhole photography. In 2020, her digital work was included in the Smithsonian Lockdown series. Allen’s work is held in collections, including the Luciana Benneton Collection (Venice Biennale), and Modern Art Projects.