Vanessa Tembane is an artist born in South Africa with Mozambican heritage, currently residing and working in Johannesburg. She holds a master's degree in Fine Arts and specializes in collage and digital print media. Tembane's artistic practice is deeply influenced by her mother's narratives, exploring how they have shaped her identity and sense of belonging.
Through her collages, Tembane combines photographs taken in South Africa with images of her Mozambican relatives, creating intriguing hybridized compositions. These collages blend photographic cut-outs with swatches of fabric called capulanas, which were gifted to Tembane by her grandmother and aunts during her occasional visits to Mozambique.
Tembane's collages serve as a medium for storytelling, illuminating her origins and an alternative "home" culture that she has experienced indirectly. They allow her to establish a connection with her mother's country of origin by constructing imagined memories and, in turn, foster a sense of belonging.
In her artistic career, Tembane has participated in numerous exhibitions, including the Ampersand Foundation 21-year celebration (2019), Bag Factory Winter Salon (2019), Jan Ceiliers Collection Exhibition (2018), and the 2018 Turbine Art Fair, among others. Her talent has been acknowledged through various accolades, including being named a 2018 Ampersand Fellow, a mentee at the RMB Emerging Artists (2018), a finalist in the 2018 Sasol New Signatures Awards, and a finalist in the 2017 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards.