Jade Nair

Michaelis Galleries Curator

Jade Nair was born in Cape Town where, throughout her primary and secondary schooling (1997-2008), she attended the Frank Joubert Art Centre (now the Peter Clarke Art Centre), receiving a rich arts education, sitting for visual and art history and communication design examinations. She received a tertiary education at the University of Cape Town and graduated with a Bachelor of Art honours degree specialising in curatorship (2020) passing in the first class.

Her research interests are, broadly, the legacies of colonialism and apartheid in South Africa and, more specifically, how those legacies are made manifest through fashion, material culture and womxn’s labour. Her research interests are timeous and are valuable to both the teaching syllabus and student research projects.

She is currently the curator at the Michaelis Galleries, Hiddingh campus. Since holding the post, Nair has both contributed to the teaching syllabus at the Michaelis School of Fine Art and produced a diverse exhibitions calendar for the gallery. She has taught on the honours in curatorship programme and produced curatorial electives, her teaching has focussed on the theoretical practice of and applied skills relating to curatorship and has integrated students into the runnings of the gallery.

Throughout the past decade, Nair has collaborated with private and public stakeholders in the arts and heritage sectors including Iziko Museums, NIROX Arts, the District Six Museum, National Arts Festival, Market Photo Workshop and Constitution Hill. She has been invited to speak about her curatorial practice at Parsons Paris | The New School (2021), the University of Basel (2022), the University of Pretoria (2023) and the Progress History Summit, Germany (2023). Nair has a continuing collaboration with Dr Carine Zaayman (Research Centre for Material Culture, National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands) and Dr Nina Liebenberg (University of the Arts, Helsinki) under the auspices of Under Cover of Darkness, a curatorial project that considers the lives of enslaved women and the contemporary repercussions of slavery in the Cape.



17-29 February             over and under: converging cosmologies of the city, co-curator (Lemkus Gallery, Cape Town)

6-14 December             Michaelis Graduate Exhibition 2023, curator (Hiddingh Campus, UCT)

14 May-16 June 2023    Existence is Resistance, curator (St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town)

14-21 February 2023     1997: Ongoing: An exhibition by Penny Siopis (Michaelis Galleries, UCT)

7-14 December 2022     Michaelis Graduate Exhibition 2022, curator (Hiddingh Campus, UCT)

16-18 September 2022  Assembling: Exhibition making and women’s labour, co-curator (Michaelis Galleries, UCT)

17-31 August 2022        Matters: A group exhibition by 2nd year MFA students, co-curator (Michaelis Galleries, UCT)

May-August 2022          Good Neighbours: Broken Promises, curator (NIROX Sculpture Park, Krugersdorp)

20 April-13 May 2022    Of Smoke and Ash: The Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition, co-curator (Michaelis Galleries, UCT) UCT Meritorious Creative Works Award 2022

21 March 2021             Uncovering The City, co-curator (online)

9-15 December 2021     Michaelis 2021 Graduate Exhibition, curator (Hiddingh Campus, UCT)

November 2021                        Redressing Vogue, [online exhibition] curator

October 2019               A Childhood Disrupted, research curator (St Matthews Church, Cape Town)

May 2018                     Boys of Seoul, curator (34 Kloof Street, Cape Town)

February 2014              A House on Harrington Street, research curator (Cape Town School of Photography)



February 2024              Odyssey: Manfred Zylla, Michaelis Galleries

August 2023                 Oddkin: Masters group exhibition, Michaelis Galleries

May 2023                     Pandemic Praxis Pedagogy, Michaelis Galleries

March 2023                  U406 Pavillion Prototype, Bertram House

March 2019                  Towards Freedom II, University of Pretoria

November 2019            Sequins, Self & Struggle, Athlone Stadium

December 2017            Zoo: Last Works by David Brown, Everard Read CIRCA Gallery

November 2018            Return by Cedric Nunn, District Six Homecoming Centre

November 2018            Object Ecologies, Iziko Natural History Museum

September 2018           Under Cover of Darkness: Tracing stories of women in servitude under colonialism, Iziko Slave Lodge

June 2017                     NUTRIA, Iziko Good Hope Gallery

May 2017                     Free-dom: Ways of life in the Wake of Catastrophe, NIROX Sculpture Park

February 2017              Eduardo Villa Extraordinary Award: Nicholas Hlobo, Cape Town Art Fair

September 2016           Martyrs, Saints and Sellouts, Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg

June 2016                     A Stygian Darkness: Destruction and Detritus in the South African Mining Industry, Centre for African Studies Gallery UCT

May 2016                     Promises and Lies: The ANC in Exile, Michaelis Galleries

December 2015            Movie Snaps, Cape Town Central Public Library

August 2015                 Movies Snaps, Artscape Theatre

October 2015                Returned to Harfield, District Six Museum

January 2015                Movie Snaps: Cape Town Remembers Differently, District Six Museum

September 2013           Martyrs, Saints and Sellouts, Iziko Good Hope Gallery, Castle of Good Hope

June 2013                     Martyrs, Saints and Sellouts, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

March 2013                  Extraordinary Lives: Portraits from a Divided Land, District Six Homecoming Centre

January 2013                Spring Queen: The Staging of the Glittering Proletariat II, District Six Homecoming Centre



23 October 2023                       Local Issues in Curatorship, Michaelis School of Fine Art UCT,  Publication making workshop for honours in curatorship


16-17 March 2023                     Exhibition making and disaster: The ‘Of Smoke and Ash: Jagger Library memorial exhibition’, University of Pretoria
Two-day workshop and lecture series for fine art under- and postgraduate students


13 February 2023                      Exhibition Making, Michaelis School of Fine Art UCT, Workshop for honours in curatorship


23 August-2 September 2022    Curation in the face of destruction, Michaelis School of Fine Art UCT
Two-week elective for second year fine art


3 June 2022                              Ways of Reading After the Fire II, University of Basel
Guest lecture for masters in African Studies students and public


16 February 2022                      Exhibition making, Michaelis School of Fine Art
Workshop for honours in curatorship


25 March 2021                         Archiving Methodology: Spring Queen and Movie Snaps, Michaelis School of Fine Art
Guest lecture for honours in curatorship



2016     FIN1009 Images in Conflict: Politics of power and propaganda

2014     FIN1009 Images in Conflict: Politics of power and propaganda

2014     FIN2029 Envisioning the Body: Representations of the human in art and visual culture

2014     FIN5012 Images of Africa

2014     AXL4203F Public Culture in Africa



2023     “Remaking the Magazine” in Printing Fashion 2022 (Published by the MA in Fashion Studies at the New School Parsons Paris) [author]


2023     “Of Smoke and Ash: The Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition” in Decapitated Economies – intercalations 5 (Published by K. Verlag Berlin) pages 10-23 [author]


2023     “Collaboration and Community: Volunteering and the Making of Of Smoke and Ash: The Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition” in Lost Libraries, Burnt Archives (ed. Sindi-Leigh McBride & Julia Rensing, published by Michaelis Galleries) pages 18-25 [author]


2022     What Remains: Volunteer Memories of the Jagger Library Salvage Operation (ed. Jade Nair and Duane Jethro, published by the Centre for Curating the Archive) [editor]


2022     “Broken Promises” in Good Neighbours: Winter Sculpture Fair 2022 catalogue (ed. Sven Christian, published by NIROX Arts) page 4 [author]


2020     Redressing Vogue: Dissertation for BA(Hons) Curatorship at the University of Cape Town [author]


2019     Centre for Curating the Archive Self-Review Portfolio 2013-2019 (ed. Pippa Skotnes, published by the Centre for Curating the Archive) [project manager]


2018     Zoo: David J Brown Last Works (ed. Pippa Skotnes, published by Axeage Private Press in association with Circa at Everard Read Gallery) [project manager]


2014     Age is a Beautiful Phase 2 by James Matthews (ed. Siona O’Connell, published by the Centre for Curating the Archive) [project manager]


2013     Martyrs, Saint & Sell-outs: The photographs of Benny Gool, Adil Bradlow and Zubeida Vallie (ed. Siona O’Connell, published by the Centre for Curating the Archive) [project manager]


2013     Spring Queen (ed. Siona O’Connell, published by the Centre for Curating the Archive)
Research assistant [project manager]



28 October 2023           Archives Under Threat, Halle (Saale) Germany

22 September 2023       ‘soft’ architecture: spatial strategies under hard migrations, Michaelis Galleries

15 September 2022       Assembling: Exhibition making and women’s labour, Michaelis Galleries

25 March 2022             Printing Fashion Festival: Remaking the magazine, Parsons Paris | The New School

6 April 2021                  Black Lives Past and Present 5: Under Cover of Darkness: Gender, labour and race in the Cape, from the colonial period to the present, CLUE+ and the Graduate School of Humanities, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

21 March 2021             Uncovering: Women’s invisible labour in the Cape, Centre for Curating the Archive

25 April 2022                Ways of Reading After the Fire, Hiddingh Campus, UCT

9-10 March 2020           Third African Digital Humanities workshop, Hiddingh Campus

4 September 2019         Centre for Curating the Archive Self Review Portfolio and Presentation, Hiddingh Campus

28-29 October 2015      Towards an Archive of Freedom,  District 6 Homecoming Centre

4 March 2014                Inaugural Vice Chancellor’s Conversation, St George’s Cathedral

9 December 2015          Human Rights Media Centre: Intergenerational Workshop, District Six Homecoming Centre

23 April 2014                Robben Island Panel, St George’s Cathedral



2019     Cape Town's Checkerboard: From Slave Ships to Barber Shops (Producer and researcher)

Link to film: Cape Town's checkerboard: From slave ships to barber shops

2019     Centre for Curating the Archive Self-Review Video (Producer)

Link to film: CCA Review August 2019

2018     Uitgesmyt (Production coordinator)

Link to film: Uitgesmyt (Cast Out)

2016     Coloured (Production coordinator)

Link to film: "Coloured" by Siona O'Connell

2016     Promises and Lies: Faultlines in the ANC (Production coordinator)

Link to film: Promises & Lies: Faultlines in the ANC by Siona O'Connell

2015     Impossible Return (Production coordinator)

Link to film: An Impossible Return

2015     The Wynberg Seven: An Intolerable Amnesia (Production coordinator)

Link to film: Wynberg 7 - An Intolerable Amnesia

2015     Movie Snaps (Production coordinator)

Link to film: Movie Snaps by Siona O'Connell

2014     Spring Queen (Research assistant)

Link to film: SPRING QUEEN (Siona O'Connell), 2014



2022-   The Michaelis Digital Galleries

            [Web page in production]

2022     Of Smoke and Ash: The Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition

Link to archive: https://ibali.uct.ac.za/s/of-smoke-and-ash/page/welcome

2019     The Digital Bleek & Lloyd (Project Manager)

Link to archive: The Digital Bleek and Lloyd

2018     Onthouers | Rememberers (Project Manager)

Link to archive: Onthouers | Rememberers

2014     Sequins, Self and Struggle (Project Manager)

Link to archive: About Sequins, self & struggle

2014     Rethinking Freedom Through A Different Lens: The Photography of Zubeida Vallie (Project Manager)

Link to archive: Rethinking freedom through a different lens

2014     Martyrs, Saints and Sellouts (Research assistant)

Link to archive: Martyrs, saints & sell-outs

2013     Shared Legacies (Research assistant)

Link to archive: Shared Legacies



5 May 2023                  Peter Clarke Creative Careers Expo, Peter Clarke Art Centre

18 March 2022             Peter Clarke Creative Careers Expo, Peter Clarke Art Centre

1 September 2019         Damm Tournament II, St Mary The Virgin Church

24 November 2018       Harfield Village Forced Removals, Starke Ayres Garden Centre Cape Town

17 March 2018              Harfield Village Forced Removals workshop, Hiddingh Campus UC

2016                             Rex Trueform pageant, Woodstock Community Hall

14 February 2015          Damm Tournament I, District Six Homecoming Centre

28 March 2015             Harfield Village Carnival, Cape Town

November 2014            Miss Gay Western Cape workshop, Rhodes Memorial

March 2014                  Miss Gay Western Cape workshop, Hiddingh Campus