Absa Art Hot Spot
Empowering African fine arts
Meet the artists
Sanell Aggenbach lives and works as a full-time artist in Cape Town, South Africa, where she works in various media namely painting, sculpture and printmaking.
She has participated in many solo, as well as group exhibitions in South Africa. In 1999 to 2000 she was selected for the UNESCO-Aschberg residency programme at the Sanskriti Kendra in Nieu-Deli, India. She lectured at the Cape College from mid-2000 until 2004 before taking up her residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.
In 2005 Aggenbach was nominated for a Kanna Award at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, and in the same year she curated an exhibition entitled Sweet Nothings at the Bell-Roberts Gallery in Cape Town as well, as being selected for the third Brett Kebble Award.
Aggenbach’s work was featured at the Joburg Art Fair in 2008 by the João Ferreira Gallery, which showcased her work that was exhibited at this Gallery in her solo exhibition entitled Sub Rose.
Her artistic concerns and research centers around issues of cultural heritage and the process of nostalgia and/or historical myth-making, which she dresses in satire and parody.
Sanell Aggenbach’s paintings characteristically deal with issues of a shifting cultural heritage, the underlying concept being the impact of memory and social history. Sanel’s artwork is an amalgamation of historical references and private narratives. References for the the body of work from which artwork forms part of were sourced from Van Kalker, a community photographer who documented the multi-racial suburb of Woodstock, where Aggenbach lived, from 1938 till the late 1970’s. Subjects from this largely working class community were documented in uniforms, groomed attire and ceremonial dress. The majority of the sitters forming the body of work were of Cape Malay, African and Portuguese origin.