Amy Ayanda Lester is an artist and musician based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her paintings and prints draw inspiration from the local landscape, its flora and colours. Images of proteas, fynbos and the familiar silhouette of Table Mountain recur in both her illustrative work and her more impressionistic canvas pieces. In subject, she returns often to her great grandmother’s flower farm in Constantia from which the family was forcibly removed in the1960s under the Group Areas Act.
Reflecting on her historical ties to the land, Amy explores themes of longing and belonging; her work a tender and intimate engagement with home. The places she paints are both real and imagined, a place to come back to – the body of a mother, a mountain, a field of flowers.
More recently, Amy has begun illustrating the bedtime stories she tells her four-year-old daughter, Frances. There is a princess and her parents, a king and a queen; the promise of magic and a castle in the clouds. Together, these illustrations are collected under the title Princess Buttercup and Her
Amy has exhibited in three solo shows and several group exhibitions. Her most recent show, Yesterday’s Fire: A Print Retrospective, runs from Thursday 6 February to Saturday 29 February 2020, at Ogūn, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock.
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:
Splinter, Stay Home Gallery, Online 2020
Close Encounters, SMITH STUDIO, Cape Town, July 2018
Ebb-And-Flow: A collection of works by Amy Ayanda and Leigh Tuckniss, Repeat After Me, Cape
Town, June 2017
What Art is FOR: A group show, 169 Victoria, Cape Town, April 2017
Cape Town Art Fair, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town, February 2017
Folly, SMITH STUDIO, Cape Town, January 2017
Symbiosis: A group show, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town, May 2016
Motherhood in Motion: Amy Ayanda Lester’s ‘Return to Land, Return to Skin’, Artthrob, July 2019
At Home with Amy Ayanda, The Way of Us, March 2018
Amy Ayanda: The Many Layers of Womxnhood, Texx and the City, October 2017
Interview with Amy Ayanda, The Fuss, January 2017