25 | Painter | Cape Town

Theme: 16 Days, 16 Voices 

Mia Darling is a young South African artist from Cape Town. What makes Darling’s art unique is that, unlike most painters, she uses plasticine which she describes as an “unusual and playful” medium. Her graduate work from the Michaelis School of Fine Art provides an exploration into beauty, body image, childhood as well as contemporary femininity. “Through using plasticine as paint I am able to play and poke fun at the, sometimes, self-serious medium of oil painting,” the artist explains. Darling’s work has been exhibited at galleries in the city, including the 99 Loop Gallery and the SMITH gallery. Reflecting on the importance of young people as agents of change as well as the events of 16 June 1976, Darling sees parallels between then and the situation today. “The image of Hector Pieterson should not be forgotten when discussing Black Lives Matter and the protests happening now, It shows that the youth have been fighting for a very long time, and now, that momentum cannot stop.” the artist says.

Mia Darling is number 13 in the 16 emerging young artists we are profiling this month. In keeping with the essence of the 100 Beautiful Things initiative and honouring South Africa’s youth, we are devoting 16 days to 16 beautiful things created by 16 young creatives who will share their stories.

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