Sizwe Sama

South Africa

About the Artist

Sizwe Sama (b.1986) is a self-taught visual artist from Kwa-Zulu Natal, who learned about art from his local library in Pietermaritzburg and from visiting the Tatham Art Gallery. The fabrics he uses in his tapestries are sometimes recycled from his own closet, or acquired for their specific visual impact and cultural references. The imitation tartans and Kente cloths used in these works draw attention to the intercultural translation of visual languages, and the ease with which cultural forms are appropriated and cross-pollinated in a globalised world.

Explore Sizwe’s catalogue for the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2023.

For Sama, this plurality is always proudly celebrated. He sees his work as a tribute to the LGBTQI+ community, as calls to freedom and self-expression, just as art-making has allowed him to express his own queer identity.

As much as his work is a highly visible outward celebration of queer personhood, it is also deeply rooted in his personal experiences and memories. Sama learned sewing by hand from his mother, a seamstress who raised him and his brother alone, and who mended their clothes in particular ways.

Sama has exhibited in multiple group shows with Guns & Rain and had his first solo with the gallery in 2022. He has also recently shown work at Galerie Christophe Person in Paris, and at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban, as well as at Duende Art Projects in Antwerp, Belgium, MOV’ART in Lisbon, Portugal, and by Africa First/Gordon Gallery in Tel Aviv, Israel. His work already sits in multiple international and local collections, including the AMAWAL (Spain), ARAK (Qatar) and Africa First (Israel) Collections.


  • 2023 Guns & Rain, You’re A Bird, Sing A Song, Duo Show with Princia Matungulu, Johannesburg
  • 2023 Galerie Christophe Person, Artistes Textile D’Afrique du Sud, Paris
  • 2023 KZNSA Gallery, Group Show, Within the Fibre of my Being, Durban
  • 2022 99 Loop, Group Show, Cape Town
  • 2022 Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn, South Africa
  • 2022 Africa First X Gordon Collaboration, What Makes Your Heart Fly?, Tel Aviv
  • 2022 Guns & Rain, Solo Show, Happy In Hell, Johannesburg
  • 2022 African Galleries Now, African Art Galleries Association, Artsy
  • 2022 The Bag Factory, Solo Show, What Makes Your Heart Fly?, Johannesburg
  • 2021 Duende Art Projects, Threads, Antwerp
  • 2021 African Galleries Now, Artsy
  • 2021 MOVART: New Era for Humanity, Lisbon
  • 2021 Eclectica Contemporary: 11:11 Group show, Cape Town
  • 2021 Guns & Rain with the Bag Factory: Meeting Places, Johannesburg
  • 2021 99 Loop Gallery: Untitled 8.99 group show, Cape Town
  • 2020 FNB Art Joburg, Online
  • 2020 African Galleries Now, Artsy
  • 2020 Guns & Rain: Fresh Voices, Online


  • Collection of African Contemporary Art and of the Diaspora, Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Geneva, Switzerland
  • AMAWAL Collection, Spain
  • ARAK Collection, Qatar 
  • Africa First Collection

Selected Works

Until the morning

Handstitched patchwork with cotton, polyester and wax fabric
122 x 148 cm

God created Adam & Steve

Handstitched patchwork with cotton, linen and wax fabric
201 x 260 cm

Summer night

Handstitched patchwork with cotton, linen, and denim
105 x 152 cm

Life lessons

Wax fabric, fleece, corduroy, linen, hand stitched and feathers
139 x 95 cm

Drag Queen

Handstitched patchwork with cotton, linen and fleece
89 x 95 cm

Fight for your rights

Handstitched patchwork with cotton, linen and acrylic fabric
128 x 74 cm

Be REAL!!!

Handstitched patchwork with cotton, linen, flannel and brocade
145 x 84 cm

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