Bongiwe Buthelezi, alternatively known as ‘b.theheartist’ (b. 2000), is visual artist currently residing in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work is structured around the recording and disseminating of personal/ public ‘herstories’ of Black women, and ways that these recollections of memory, play a role in the modern era – in addition to themes of mental health, and the contemporary shifts taking shape in Black, female identity.
She is currently in the fourth and final year of her BA in Fine Arts degree at the University of Witwatersrand, where she ‘majors’ in Printmaking. Her practice however, takes an ever-changing form of visual, and textual expression, as she works primarily with Printmaking, Illustration, Poetry and Photography, to communicate her ideas.
“I’ve always drawn on a large collection of creative influences outside of just visual arts, and some of these include; my own familial archives and albums, my history and ancestry, music under the genres of Jazz, Hip-Hop and the Blues, monochromatic photography, and more recently – the removal, demolition and inscription of space/s. Ultimately, I make a strong reference to ‘memory’, and history and the jaded fragility within which they both exist – in my work, while also combining the more painful, and negative truths of these themes, with the presence and remembrance of ‘love’ . In summary, you could say that I ‘make’ work in order to ‘mark’ a moment, or series of moments in my present-day, then depict how the ‘histories of life’ on Earth got me here.”