Artists We Love: Mary Evans

WORDS Malibongwe Tyilo

TOWARDS INTERSECTIONS: Negotiating Subjects, Objects and Contexts is a series of art exhibitions, events, talks and outreach programmes currently running at venues across Johannesburg and Pretoria. One of the artists on show is Nigerian born, London-based artist Mary Evans.

Evans is well known for work that fuses elements of both her African and European upbringing, along with themes of migration, inspired by her own move to Europe at the age of six. She describes most of her art as being biographical. Its mixed-media imagery is often based on signs, symbols and pictograms culled from popular culture. It is also often site-specific and has to be taken down or destroyed after an exhibition.

Evans has shown across the world in places as far afield as Mexico, Germany and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Most recently, she spent time in residencies as an artist fellow at the Smithsonian in Washington, and at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Northern Italy. She is also an associate lecturer at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Her work, a piece called Liminal, which she made specifically for the exhibition, is currently on show at the UNISA Art Gallery in Pretoria until 22 June.

The UNISA Art Gallery is located at UNISA Muckleneuk Campus, Preller Street, New Muckleneuk Kgorong building, Ground Floor. Opening hours are from 10am until 4pm from Tuesday to Friday. For more information, visit