Aneesah Girie

South Africa

About the Artist

Aneesah Girie (b. 1999) draws her inspiration from the cultural practices surrounding her identity as a Muslim woman in South Africa. She is interested in the politics and meanings associated with the wearing of the hijab, the head covering which many observant Muslim women wear on a daily basis.

She reimagines “soft, feminine, flimsy” hijabs as hardened, reflective, glass-like sculptural forms, radically transforming the material qualities of her medium. Girie’s works explore the tension between the material and metaphorical hardness and softness suggested by her works, drawing attention to the complexity of identifying as a Muslim woman. Girie freezes the folds, gathers and ripples of the hijab as it is draped over wooden frames, as if falling. She employs these wooden frames – originally stretchers from traditional canvases – to form the armatures for the fabric, which seems caught in motion.The wooden frames associate the hijab with another fabric surface that is steeped in cultural history, the painter’s canvas. In juxtaposing the canvas frame and the hijab, her works walk a delicate line between display and discretion, revelation and cloaking.

Her ongoing reference to the tradition of painting also suggests a blurring of the boundaries between painting and sculpture. This subtly draws attention to surface in a way that recalls Western Modernism’s preoccupation with addressing or subverting the “flatness” of painting, while insisting that art is far more personal, and far richer in meaning, than just that.

Girie holds a BA Fine Art from the University of Witwatersrand. She was the recipient of the Wits Young Artist Award in 2021, and in the same year participated in RMB’s Talent Unlocked programme. In 2022, she exhibited as part of the Unearthed section at Turbine Art Fair (a platform highlighting new talent) and was selected to participate in the highly competitive JP Morgan Abadali mentorship and commissioning project. In 2023 her work has been exhibited at Investec Cape Town Art Fair and in Soft Power, a group show by Guns & Rain in London.


  • 2024 DECADE : 10 Years of Guns & Rain (group exhibition), Johannesburg
  • 2023  Soft Power, Addis Fine Art Project Space with Gun & Rain, London
  • 2023  Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Guns & Rain
  • 2022  Fresh Voices, Guns & Rain, Johannesburg
  • 2022  Muzivi Wenzira, Guns & Rain, London
  • 2022  Turbine Art Fair ‘Unearthed’
  • 2021  Everard Read Gallery: RMB Talent Unlocked Exhibition 
  • 2021  Joburg Fringe Annual Show



  • Spier Art Collection

Grants, Residencies and Awards

  • 2021 Wits Young Artist Award, The Point of Order

Selected Works


Hijab (scarf), fabric hardener and clear lacquer on
a metal frame
99 x 40 x 6.5 cm

Wrapped onto me ii

Hijab fabric, fabric hardener, clear lacquer, on
69 x 41 x 6.5 cm


Hijab fabric, fabric hardener, clear lacquer, fabric
dye on canvas
100 x 83 x 6 cm


Clear lacquer, scarf fabric and fabric hardener on canvas
110 x 61 x 9 cm

Twined I

Silk scarf fabric, hardener and clear lacquer on canvas
181 x 60 x 9 cm


Hijab (scarf) and hardener
111 x 57 x 8 cm

Spoon II

Hijab (scarf) and hardener
59 x 36 x 6 cm

Spoon I

Hijab (scarf) and hardener
31 x 23 x 2.5 cm

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