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Joao Ladeira


Joao Ladeira is a contemporary artist whose works comment on current affairs in society and particularly on the state of life in the African continent. For the past 8 years, he has worked on issues affecting the migration of people around the African continent. Ladeira’s art exposes the human side of displaced people on the continent of Africa Ladeira is a graduate of the University of Johannesburg where he earned a Masters Degree in Fine Art and Design and did his research on “Materials and Designs in Sustainable Community Development Projects”. Ladeira has worked in various disadvantaged community engagement programs around South Africa. Ladeira has travelled extensively throughout the continent of Africa and Europe.

Artist Statement

“My latest drypoints, charcoal and acrylic works are an alternative form of expression to convey the themes of unity through traditional African musical instruments. These works celebrate the originality, cultural wealth and artistic diversity of the African continent through music. African musical instruments embody the unity, harmony and melody that resounds when African nations work together to uplift our people. With these prints, we remind ourselves of the discord that prevails on our continent. We remind ourselves of the questions we have yet to answer: how do we heal Africa’s wounds and restore our humanity? How do we save our people from poverty, war, hunger and dread disease? How do we protect women, children, the elderly and the most vulnerable among us? This is a day to recommit ourselves to civic engagement for our humanity. In earlier works I have experimented with the printing process; creating Silkscreen prints on metal sheets. This medium refreshingly deviates from the tradition of using paper or canvas as the foundation of artwork. For these works pictures or portraits are printed out of rusted metal plates using the silkscreen technique. These images are suggestive of fragments of people’s memories. The philosophy behind this production of work is that, often we pick up objects out of the ravages that could remind us of someone or simply moments of the past. These particular prints are symbolic of the civil wars around the African Continent where people continue to lose their lives, possessions and in many cases, they have to move to other places for shelter and security. A victim of two civil wars myself, I use life experience of displacement to shed light on the daily struggles and humanity of ordinary people. Through my works I aim to capture the extraordinary reality of the people and places I portray.”