Kilmany-Jo Liversage has been part of the Nando’s art family for several years now. Her portraits blur the boundary between fine art and graffiti, and she has exhibited her work not only in Cape Town, where she lives and works, but across South Africa and as far afield as Singapore, Columbia, London and Austria.

She incorporates elements of street art into her practice, such as her use of spray paint and tagging, but is trained in fine art, with both a Higher Diploma and a Bachelor of Technology in Fine Art from Free State Technikon.

Her work is included in the Nando’s collection and displayed in several of our restaurants around the world. We first got to know her when she joined the Creative Block programme, managed by Spier Arts Trust (which also administers all the Nando’s artist career development initiatives).

She was soon invited to join other Nando’s artist development programmes and had her first solo art exhibition in Cape Town sponsored by Nando’s Creative Exchange. The Nando’s Creative Exchange was established in 2011 to recognise emerging, Southern African fine artists who demonstrate exceptional ability. The programme offers select artists exhibition and mentorship opportunities, with art materials sponsorship too.

“Nando’s support of the arts has given such input into my personal journey,” she says. “It opened opportunities, created a new platform for my art to be seen not only locally, but internationally, and created an income for me.”

Kilmany-Jo is represented by WORLDART, and you can see some of her latest work on the WORLDART website. In 2020, she’s been working on a series of “lockdown lips” paintings, as well as a series of still-life floral paintings with a twist. We caught up with her to find out more about what she’s up to:

Click to see each answer.

A: I have been fortunate to have had a few projects to keep me busy during lockdown. The stoking was to just keep busy during these COVID times!
A: A pandemic is not something we could prepare for. Valuing and supporting artists can be done through creating digital platforms and buying locally. Artists are the visual story tellers of these times and supporting them at this very moment is more important than ever, as you will have a slice of history forever to show.
A: I am pursuing and discovering the study of still-life paintings which I call FLOWHER pieces. These are paintings based on traditional floral still-life, but using female- related symbols to create a composition that visually describes WOMAN.
A: To be an authentic artist is accepting and discovering change over time. I think the challenge is discovering what my role is as a female artist and what visual message I can get across with that in mind.
A: Exercise – go for walks, ride my bicycle. A simple pleasure that brings me joy is making good wholesome and healthy food for my family from scratch.
A: Teresa Kutala Firmino. Lady SKOLLIE. Lucky lady Luke (FaatimahMohamed-Luke) and Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. I’m also very excited by the local designer LADUMA.

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