Virginia Mackenny

Virginia Mackenny
Virginia MacKenny completed her BAFA at the University of Natal in 1980 and her MA in Gender Studies in 2001 at UKZN, Durban. She has received a number of awards including the Volkskas Atelier Award (1991), the Ampersand Fellowship in New York (2004) and a Donald Gordon Creative Fellow Award (2010). She is an independent critic and curator. In 2006 she co-curated, with Gabi Ncgobo, ‘Second to None’ – an exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March on Pretoria to protest the pass laws – at Iziko South African National Gallery. A previous KZN editor for www.artthrob.co.za, the first internet site on contemporary South African art, she was also an invited writer for Sophie Perryer’s 10 Years 100 Artists – Art in a Democratic South Africa (2004). She supports contemporary visual arts discourse in SA by writing catalogue essays and for the quarterly Art South Africa. She has presented papers on aspects of South African contemporary art production at the Tate Modern, London, and in conferences in Mumbai, Paris and Madrid. Often a judge on national competitions she was a selector for Spier Contemporary 2007. MacKenny is interested in contemporary South African art with a special emphasis on painting, video art and performance art with particular reference to gender and environmental issues. In 2010 she was a co-founding member of COPART, an artists’ initiative concerned with raising awareness for climate change at COP17 (the UN Conference of the Parties for discussion on climate change held in Durban that year). Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Foam Along the Waterline’ (2008), at UCT’s Irma Stern Museum, ‘Crossing’ (2009)at David Krut Projects, Johannesburg and ‘Waymarker’ (2012) David Krut Projects, Cape Town. ‘Waymarker’ was the culmination of a 700km walk across France along the Chemin de St Jacques and embodied a literal act of grounding in an act dedicated “to the Earth and all living beings on her”. MacKenny is currently creating an artist’s book based on her walk as well researching for a book on artists in Southern Africa engaged with environmental issues.

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  1. Virginia Mackenny
    Anthill Rising
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    Pinioned
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    3am in the 0% in the rainbelt
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    Small Miracles
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