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Lungiswa Gqunta in conversation with Melanie Keen



Artist Lungiswa Gqunta crouches by her work.

Join us online to hear artist Lungiswa Gqunta discuss her work and the exhibition Sleep in Witness with Melanie Keen, Director of Wellcome Collection.

About the speakers

Melanie Keen is Director of Wellcome Collection, London, which aims to challenge the way we think and feel about health. Her intention is to give voice to radical imagination on what health is and what it could be. She is committed to reshaping our cultural assumptions around race, disability and gender, and the human relationship to planetary health. A graduate of the RCA, Melanie has worked as a curator, in arts policy and funding at the Arts Council England. Prior to joining Wellcome Collection, she was Director and Chief Curator at pioneering arts organisation Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), where she was instrumental in the revitalisation of Iniva’s mission and vision by making the Stuart Hall Library its creative hub. She is passionate about civic responsibility and was a school governor in Hackney secondary school for five years. She is an advisor and a trustee at the Government Art Collection, the Board of Visitors of Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, the British Council Collection and Raven Row, London. She is also part of the Diversity Art Group set to advise Freelands Art Foundation.

Lungiswa Gqunta at work installing her sculpture 'Ntabamanzi', made from barbed wire and blue wool. The sculpture is designed to look like a wave breaking against the wall of the gallery.
Lungiswa Gqunta at work installing her sculpture 'Ntabamanzi' 2022. Photo: Min Young Lim.

Lungiswa Gqunta lives and works in Cape Town. She is one of the founding members of iQhiya, with whom she participated in Documenta 14 and Glasgow International.

Her solo exhibitions include Tending to the harvest of dreams 2021, ZOLLAMTMMK Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt; Lungiswa Gqunta 2019, Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy; Qwitha 2018, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town; Poolside Conversations 2017, Kelder Projects, London and Qokobe 2016, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.

Group exhibitions include Ubuntu a Lucid Dream 2021, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Living Forgiving Remembering 2020, Museum Arnheim, Netherlands; Garden of Earthly Delights 2019, Gropius Bau, Berlin and The Planetary Garden, Cultivating Coexistence, Manifesta Biennial 12, Palermo (2018).

Gqunta attended the Gasworks Residency, London; Women on Aeroplanes workshop, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, and the Nirox Residency, Cradle of Humankind in 2018.


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Lungiswa Gqunta: Sleep in Witness
A woman walks through Lungiswa Gqunta’s sculpture 'Ntabamanzi', made from barbed wire and blue wool. The sculpture is designed to look like a wave breaking against the wall of the gallery.


Lungiswa Gqunta: Sleep in Witness

Main Galleries
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

Getting here

The Henry Moore Institute

Experience, study and enjoy sculpture from around the world in the centre of Leeds.

74 The Headrow
United Kingdom

T:  01132 467 467