Masombuka explores the intersection of identity and culture in a mix of mediums that include photography, film, sculpture and performance. From these diverse materials, she weaves inspiring visual narratives of arresting aesthetic subtlety, drawing inspiration from her upbringing in a small rural town in the Ndebele homeland in South Africa. Place is central to Masombuka’s work, and her practice is imbued with traditional Ndebele lore, which the artist employs to bring about a radical re-examination of the individual’s position within the wider community.
Nges’rhodlweni: A Portal for Black Joy showcases a body of work which has been developing over the last three years. The title refers to a special space in the Ndebele household, where people of all ages gather to share in the communion of art, creating a site of expression for the entire community. This sacred space encourages connection to the Enas (spirit), which permits manifestations of a heightened sense of joy. This euphoria is recognised as creative energy and is a prerequisite for the exchange of essential knowledge. Masombuka describes how being present and open to one's community in this preserved space facilitates the growth of knowledge within each individual, something fundamental to the evolution of culture. For the Ndebele community such transmission is not considered linear but instead is imagined as being cyclical, hence infinite and unbounded.