Talya Lubinsky’s research based practice employs elemental materials to function as open signifiers for poetic meaning, that give form to specific contexts and histories. In her exhibition, If we burn, there is ash, Johannesburg, 2016, ash and cement are used as materials to investigate the potential aftermaths of fire and burning in relation to colonial collections of material culture. In Floating Bodies, Bayreuth, 2017, an anecdote from a family archive mobilises the use of sandbags as a metaphor for the human imperative to create barriers against the natural power of a flood, which is imagined here as a force of history.

Her current project considers the cemetery as a site in which to explore themes of decay and decomposition, in a landscape that is dedicated to memorialisation and memory.

Talya is an artist from Johannesburg. She was an artist in residence at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien April 2019 till April 2020.



2015:   Graduated with distinction, Masters in Fine Art at Wits University, Johannesburg.

2011:   Graduated with distinction, BA Fine Art at Wits University, Johannesburg.

2007:  Beginners Course, Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg.


Solo Exhibitions:

2020:   Marble Dust, Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

2017:   Floating Bodies, Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth.

2016:   If we burn, there is ash, Wits Anthropology Museum, Johannesburg.

2015:   Between Mess and Order, The Point of Order, Johannesburg.

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2014:   Nesting Narratives, GoetheonMain, Johannesburg.

2013:   Regions A - G at the Johannesburg City Library, Johannesburg City Library, Johannesburg.

Frisson Urbain at Exposition PLAY>URBAN Ville(s)en Jea(x), Le-Maillon Théâtre de Strasbourg, Strasbourg.​

Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism Life of Forms: Project Space, GoetheonMain, Johannesburg.

2012:   Out of Thin Air, Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town.

Independent Publishing Project, Goethe Institute, Johannesburg.

Scholarships and Grants:

2019:   KfW Shiftung award for Künstlerhaus Bethanien international residency program

2017:   Pro Helvetia research residency grant

2014:   National Arts Council of South Africa Bursary for Postgraduate study



April 2019 - April 2020:

Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany.

June 2017:  

Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Basel, Switzerland.

September - October 2016:  

Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth, Germany.

September 2013:  

PLAY>URBAN, Strasbourg, France.


2021:   "Marble Dust" Catalogue. Published by KfW Stiftung.

2017:   "Making Room" in Revolution Room. 2017. ed. Sari Middernracht, Molemo Moiloa, Patrick Mudekereza and Vaughn Sadie.

            Johannesburg: Vansa and Lubumbashi: Waza centre d' art    


KfW Stiftung