iYeza is the Xhosa word for medicine. It usually references healing substances derived from plants. In the broader sense, iYeza is a substance that is meant to ward off dark spiritual energy and invite good.

These spiritual energies are intrinsic to my work, which includes recognising how our bodies and spirits are tied to the earth and waters, on and in which we were born and raised. The land and water is healing on its own, it is medicine, it produces medicine.

My work draws on my personal memory of growing up, and my journey as a traditional healer. It considers the flora of Southern Africa and its use in traditional medicines, rituals and daily life, and how this has changed over time. Through these pieces, I hope to reset thinking about ourselves as indigenous people and our plants. This is about healing our spirits, the spirits of our ancestors and recognising the power in what our land has gifted to us.


The Powerstation
The Gallery in the Round, 1820 Settlers Monument



23 June – 03 July


The Power Station

Nga liphuza, nga liphalaza, ilangalibalele (2022)
Umbhaco, thread, wood, imphepho, imbola, umkhando
Directly translated this means, I drank it, I vomited it, while the sun was up in the sky. This piece which is comprised of wooden poles that have also been made with imphepho and imbola, is a reminder of how the physical landscape speaks to the spiritual landscape.


The Power Station

Yehla Moya (2022) is a video installation (14mins). The short film is centered around the women who labour, and ecological warfare as it pertains to land and water. It imagines the spirits that reside in the water, the caves, the plains, mountains and forests. It is the women who dig for medicinal plants, who know how to keep plants alive, while also extracting what it is they need from the source.


The Gallery in the Round

Vutha Umlilo (2022)
Wool, Eucalyptus tree stumps, grass, soil and leopard print cloth
Wool and wood create a meditative landscape, a rumination on healing and how specific churches in Southern Africa choose to heal, taking the familiar and making it unfamiliar, the same way African spiritual practices had to codify their practices.


Power Station Main


Buhlebezwe Siwani was raised in Johannesburg, and due to the nomadic nature of her upbringing she has also lived in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Siwani works predominantly in the medium of performance and installations. She includes photographic stills and videos of some performances. She uses the videos and the stills as a stand in for her body which is physically absent from the space. Siwani completed her BAFA(Hons) at the Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg in 2011 and her MFA at the Michealis School of Fine Arts in 2015. She has exhibited at the Michaelis Galleries in Cape Town, a site-specific exhibition in collaboration with APEX Art, New York City, in 13th Avenue, Alexandra township, Commune 1, and Stevenson in Cape Town.

She lives and works between Amsterdam and Cape Town.