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Nando's Creative Exchange


Every year, Nando's supports a new group of artists to take the next step in their careers through the Nando’s Creative Exchange programme, run in partnership with Spier Arts Trust. 

Nando’s Creative Exchange (NCX) aims to recognise emerging South African fine artists who demonstrate exceptional ability. The programme offers four artists mentorship opportunities, with art materials sponsorship, culminating in a group exhibition. 

The four artists selected for Nando’s CX 2021 are:

Eric Rantisi
Llise Dodd
Mongezi Ncombo
Adrian Owen

Here, we present their group show - “Life – We Get The Picture”.

The exhibition is a rhetoric visual voice, a discourse from four artists with different backgrounds who are part of a broader global digital community. The exhibition is a commentary on life post-Covid, and through these works, the artists endeavour to carry a survivor’s attitude of courage, motivation and connection, putting into perspective the importance of adapting and embracing a new epoch, given all that we have learned, and all life shows us with a shared anticipation of a brighter future.

Win a Commissioned Artwork by a Nando's Creative Exchange Artist

Nando's is giving away a commissioned,  70 x 95 cm, artwork worth R10,000 by one of the four 2021 Nando's Creative Exchange Artists. By entering your details to view this page, you have already been entered into the competition. If you did not do so, you can CLICK HERE.

The winner of the competition will be able to choose which artist they would like to create a custom work for them. Please note the work will be in the style and theme of the artist's practice. View all Ts&Cs here.

Detail from Adrian Owen's 'Embrace - Summation', 2021, mixed media: charcoal and acrylic paint on canvas, 122 x 88 cm

Meet the Artists

Eric Rantisi

Eric Rantisi was born in Johannesburg and holds a B-Tech Degree in Fine and Applied Arts from the Tshwane University of Technology.

He works in oil paints, exploring the politics of identity and representation. His paintings reference history and current affairs to explore identity formation and dominant discourses on identity.

Eric’s work for this exhibition explores art censorship and the complexity around the topic. “In the paintings, I use public monuments as a symbol for art in general,” he says. “I am interested in the intricacy and subjectivity of the international art censorship conversation. Globally gallerists, curators and other art stakeholders ask questions that pertain to art censorship: what is appropriate to show in museums, galleries and in the public domain? Should art be viewed by the general public when it is opposing contemporary representations of gender and race, or should art that is seen as offensive be excluded from art exhibitions and from the public domain?”

Eric has participated in various local exhibitions and has been selected for a range of art competitions, including the ABSA L’Atelier, Sasol New Signatures and PPC Cement Young Concrete Sculptors Awards.

Llise Dodd

Llise Dodd grew up in a small village, Wittedrift, in the Bitou Valley, Southern Cape and she currently lives and works as a full-time artist on a farm in the Elands River Valley in the Eastern Cape.

Llise studied musicology at the University of Port Elizabeth (now the Nelson Mandela University) and taught music for two years before enrolling for an art course at the late Susan Barnard’s Knapp Art School in Uitenhage.

Having majored in ethnomusicology, she also applies interdisciplinary methods in her visual creations. She creates her work in acrylic. Landscapes, incorporating surrealism, is a favoured subject matter. As a keen mountain biker, she enjoys cycling in remote areas for inspiration and reference photos.

Llise has held seven solo exhibitions and has participated in over 100 group exhibitions. Her work has been included in the coffee table book, Art and Artists of the Eastern Cape.

She taught art privately to adults for fourteen years and was the co-owner of a pop-up art gallery in partnership with her late artist friend, Tertius van Huyssteen. Together they hosted exhibitions in various places in South Africa. She opened her studio on the farm in Elands River Valley as a permanent exhibition space to the public in 2017, and every year she joins the Grahamstown National Art Festival’s Fringe exhibition, Port Elizabeth’s Art Meander and other group exhibitions. She presents workshops in acrylic painting on the farm and regularly acts as a judicator for school art festivals.

Mongezi Ncombo

Mongezi Ncombo was born in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. He studied visual art and design at the Central Johannesburg College in 2010 before enrolling as a printmaking student at the Artist Proof Studio. Mongezi works in draft pen and acrylic paint on Fabriano Paper or canvas.

Mongezi’s body of work addresses the subject of “seeing beyond preconceived concepts based on historical records, mass media communication, traditions, culture, forms of education and the other sources of information to explore what they mean to us as individuals and how we connect to the information”.

His artworks combine contour lines, gesture drawing technique, abstract expressionism and realistic cubism. He recomposes the abstract pattern to project scenarios of urban life – rural settlements, township life and people on a daily basis – asking questions about their societal state of being through experiences and being present in the moment.

Mongezi has taken part in various exhibitions from 2010 onwards, as well as taking part in an art exchange programme at One Eloff Studios and a mentorship programme at the M Studio. He has exhibited at Mpho Art and Design, the Mall of Africa, the Goethe Institute and at the First Rand Bank with MMarthouse. In 2021 he did a residency at the Modern Art Projects South Africa, working as a full-time artist and an assistant in the quality control of the Richmond bookbinding project.

Adrian Owen

Adrian Owen is a self-taught artist who specialises in fine art, portraiture and illustration. It was in London as a young man during the 1990s that he began to develop his distinctive style of portraiture, sketching portraits on Leicester and Trafalgar Squares. During this time he made an annual appearance on The Royal Mile at The Edinburgh International Arts Festival and, upon returning to South Africa, he participated annually at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

A trip to Chiang Mai in 2007 introduced him to the dry brush technique, which he adopted to expand his mastery in the disciplined art of charcoal drawing.

Adrian freelances commercially as an illustrator in the publishing, advertising, film and television industries. Private portrait commissions and works focusing on his unique interpretations of the human form have remained a staple during his career and can be found in homes and private collections throughout the world. His work has been exhibited in notable galleries throughout South Africa.

Adrian believes his purpose as an artist, in a world that seems so polarised and overwhelmed with conflicting and pervasive information, is “to remind people of our innate beauty through the pursuit and depiction of it”.

In 2020, he was part of the SHE and Drawn In exhibitions at RK Contemporary in Riebeek Kasteel, and had a solo exhibition during Open Studios Kommetjie.

Adrian currently lives and works in Kommetjie near Cape Town.

Detail from Eric Rantisi's 'Our community garden', 2021, oil paint on canvas, 122 x 153 cm

Llise Dodd

Detail from Llise Dodd's 'Survivors', 2021, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 80 cm

Detail from Mongezi Ncombo's 'Ecdysis', 2021, mixed media on canvas, 105 x 155 cm 

Further Reading In Articles

African Artist Directory

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