Virginia MacKenny is an Associate Professor in Painting at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. A practicing artist she has received a number of awards including the Volkskas Atelier Award (1991), an Ampersand Fellowship in New York (2004) and a Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award (2011). She writes on contemporary South African art and presented papers at the Tate in London, and conferences in Mumbai, Paris and Madrid. A previous KwaZuluNatal editor for www.artthrob.co.za, she contributed to Sophie Perryer’s 10 Years 100 Artists – Art in a Democratic South Africa (2004) and regularly writes catalogue essays and for Art South Africa.
A critic and curator, in 2006 she co-curated with Gabi Ncgobo Second to None, an exhibition for Iziko South African National Gallery celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March on Pretoria. She is interested in painting, gender and deep ecology and curated ‘Threshold’ (2010) engaging artists in Southern Africa concerned with environmental and climate change issues. A book on the same topic is currently under production.
Her exhibition ‘Waymarker’ (2012) responded to a 700km walk across France during which she attempted to ‘tread lightly’ on the planet.