AmaKhosi Installation Image

Lhola Amira

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

"Umthandazisi – The Space Holder (red so(u)ldiers). Through stillness and presence, the so(u)ldiers’ gestures mend and repair both the wound of the land and water. Umthandazisi validates their continued existence by walking in solidarity throughout this journey, each and all bearing witness to the undoing of these wounds. For the healing to happen, Umthandazisi anchor the energy in the call’s purpose.

Umkhuseli – The Protector (black so(u)ldiers). Through the act of remembering, Umkhuseli serve and project. They are the guardians and custodians of the ancestral, the spiritual and the living. Both warrior and defender, Umkhuseli is the restorer of the ancient.

Umboni – The Seer (gold so(u)ldiers).Umboni is the spiritual medium who gazes ahead and acts as a divine intervention in the future’s self-manifestation. Umboni seeks knowledge to map time – an ancestral guide who serves time’s past, present and future.”

In this intimate set of mini icons placed on a bed of healing salt, Lhola Amira’s multi-faceted so(u)ldiers stand in action to the grand military heroics often represented within historical museum collections. Here, her mini selves embody notions of collective healing through attending to the memory of colonial wounds that continue to re-open and reverberate in the present. This work is connected spiritually and metaphysically to Amira’s large-scale installation on Cockatoo Island, a constellation of human-sized healing pods.


  • Title: AmaKhosi Installation Image
  • Creator: Lhola Amira
  • Date Created: 2018
  • Location Created: Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Physical Dimensions: dimensions variable; open edition
  • Provenance: Presentation at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney was made possible with generous assistance from the Sherman Foundation and assistance from NIRIN 500 patrons. Courtesy the artist and SMAC Gallery, Cape Town / Johannesburg / Stellenbosch.
  • Type: sculpture
  • Rights: Biennale of Sydney
  • Medium: hand cast polyethylene
  • Edition: 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020): NIRIN

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