Kiveshan Thumbiran is a young artist whose artworks reflect his concerns with issues of identity especially as it relates to Indians and their sense of belonging within a South African society. He believes that his work, which draws on Hindu culture and folklore, serves as an invitation for others to engage with the culture of... Continue Reading →


The Birthday Party II (above) is the painting that helped young artist Ravelle Pillay win first prize in the Emerging Painting Invitational competition this year. Pillay works primarily with drawing and painting, exploring themes around family, migration, nostalgia, and memory. Although oil painting is a traditional medium, Pillay has developed a contemporary 'language' within it,... Continue Reading →


Alka Dass takes barely remembered photographs from old family albums and breathes new life into them, turning them into works of art. In doing so she creates a sense of nostalgia for our past as South African Indians; making us remember things like picnics with extended family; road trips with aunts and cousins; and the... Continue Reading →


In this post I look inside the February/March 1973 issue of The 1860 Settler magazine. The cover features Rajesh Khanna, the Bollywood heart-throb of the day, and his co-star Asha Parekh. For more background on the magazine, click here INSIDE The 1860 Settler Magazine featured many adverts with local Indian celebrities. The Omo advert above... Continue Reading →

Sarojani Naidoo

Sarojani Naidoo is a fibre artist who uses materials such as wool, fabric, acrylic paint and canvas to communicate her views about nature and spirituality. Although fibre art is a form of fine art that has its roots in old craft practices like weaving, quilting, embroidery and tapestry making, in contemporary times it is more... Continue Reading →


Hiten Bawa, an architect and artist, is passionate about both his careers. Even so, he concedes that he prefers art; that being an artist is "a part of his nature that he cannot suppress or run away from". Bawa, who is profoundly deaf and lives with bilateral cochlear implants, challenges our preconceived notions about people... Continue Reading →


In this post I share a glimpse inside the September 1969 issue of The 1860 Settler Magazine, which featured the sultry Bollywood star Sharmila Tagore on its cover.  For more background on the magazine, click hereINSIDEThe 1860 Settler magazine featured several short stories, many of which were romantic or family orientated.The magazine always included a section... Continue Reading →


Few South Africans will remember The 1860 Settler. This magazine, which catered for a South African Indian audience, was the result of the joint efforts of a Durban couple: Ronnie Pather, who served as editor and his wife Leila who was the advertising manager. Together they published 'The Settler' from the 1960's until around 1978... Continue Reading →


Nabeeha Mohamed's bold, colourful paintings feature a graphic simplicity that belies the depth of meaning they contain. She uses everyday items like flowers, jewellery, and cigarettes to explore ideas about privilege, identity and consumerism. In describing her art, Mohamed says her work can be labeled as Bad Painting.  A style of painting which aims to... Continue Reading →

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