Wayne Barker – A South African mixed-media artist


K and I are not really the art-sy types and although we have gone for exhibitions in the past, it’s not something we do very often. However, yesterday we made an exception and went for the opening of Wayne Barker’s latest exhibition, the Normal Man. Barker is one of South Africa’s most talented and notorious mixed-media artists and has frequently been called the wild child of local art.

Barkers uses a mix of paints, beads, neon lights and objects collected in his art works, which have been inspired by a number of recent events, including the passing away of Nelson Mandela, the strife in Gaza and the Charlie Hebdo shooting incident in France. His trademark curving and looping form of writing can be found across the artworks.


What really fascinated us was the intricate beadwork series, titled ‘healing’. According to Barker, the time involved in this laborious art itself constitutes healing. He also feels that the collective labour involved in the beading process itself enhances the idea of healing as it invokes the Zulu quality of ‘ubuntu’ – I am myself because of you.

The exhibition is currently being showcased at the Circa in Rosebank and will be on display until the 21st of February.

(Please click below for a slideshow)

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