About Amy Ayanda


Amy Ayanda Lester (b.1992) is an artist and musician based in Cape Town, South Africa. Amy holds an Honours degree in Painting from The Michaelis School of Fine Art at The University of Cape Town. Throughout her career, Amy has exhibited her work independently and has been a notable participant in numerous group exhibitions. She finds inspiration in the local landscape, particularly in the flora, colours and people. Her art, ranging from paintings to prints, frequently features proteas, fynbos, and the iconic mountain silhouette, drawing from her family’s experience of connection to the land, and the grief of being forcibly removed from their flower farm due to Apartheid forced removals. Her art engages themes of memory and loss that find contradiction with the striking natural beauty of the land, and this contradiction reverberates in her vibrant abstract pieces. Her style is loose, and wondering, largely guided by an ‘instance’ – specifically in relation to how she uses colour. The artist has reflected on how her use of colour is dedicated to a feeling; a moment wherein a colour inspires her in its immediate, abstract and playful essence. 

In March of 2024, Amy was invited to the David Krut Workshop (DKW) to collaborate with printmaker Roxy Kaczmarek. She has also worked on a series of vessels in collaboration with Natasha Human as well as nine original works on canvas for her new body of work ahead of her solo presentation at the Latitudes Art Fair (May 2024). 

Solo exhibitions:

Thumb-suck, Ground Art Cafe, Cape Town, December 2022
Yesterday’s Fire: A Print Retrospective, Ogūn, Cape Town, February 2020
Return to Land, Return to Skin, Ground Art Café, Cape Town, July 2019
I LOVE PLANTS SO MUCH, Ground Art Café, Cape Town, January 2017

Selected group exhibitions:

2024 The Motherlode, 6 Spin Street

2022 In Utero RK Contemporary, Riebeek Kasteel

2021African Feminism: Home of The Empties, Goethe-Institut South Africa

2021 2020Home is Where The Art Is, Zeitz MOCCA 2018Close Encounters, SMITH STUDIO, Cape Town 

2020 Splinter, Stay Home Gallery, Online 

2018 Close Encounters, SMITH STUDIO, Cape Town,

2017 What Art is FOR: A group show, 169 Victoria, Cape Town

2017 Cape Town Art Fair, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town

2017 Folly, SMITH STUDIO, Cape Town

2016 Symbiosis: A group show, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town

Selected features:

Living Space 2023

Woman and Home 2023

VISI Magazine 2022, 2023

2019 “Motherhood in Motion: Amy Ayanda Lester’s ‘Return to Land, Return to Skin’ ” Artthrob 

Marie Claire 2018

At Home with Amy Ayanda, The Way of Us 2017

Amy Ayanda: The Many Layers of Womxnhood, Texx and the City; Interview with Amy Ayanda, The Fuss