Sam Ngcobo (b.2002) is a Johannesburg based multidisciplinary fine artist originally from the city of eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal, where she was born and grew up for most of her life until she had to embark on her studies in Johannesburg. She is currently studying her fourth and final year, completing a BA(Hons) in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is expected to graduate at the end of 2023.
In her artistic practice, Sam engages with the subject matters of the Black female body and how she can re-represent it outside of the constraints of coloniality, culture, religion and patriarchy by challenging ways of seeing experiences connected to Black womanhood. She works with themes of femininity, sexuality and womanhood. In her work, she uses cow dung and ibomvu (red clay) as materials that make her reminiscent of rural KwaZulu-Natal to help her labour through her journey to healing her mother wound. She thinks of the labour required to make her art as something that becomes a kind of unseen bodily performance that connects her to the matriarchal labour that women in rural KwaZulu-natal traditionally take on. This ‘behind the scenes’ performance that intentionally remains uncaptured through her practice gives life to a performativity that connects her to her mother, her sister, her grandmother and rural KwaZulu-Natal. She works mostly in the mediums of performance, drawings and installation.
After finishing her degree, she plans on continuing to further make art that challenges the visual languages of re-portraying the wide-ranging experiences of the Black female body, womanhood and sexuality.