Nicola Deane is an artist working with organic and digital materials to produce fine art and audiovisual installations. She obtained her BFA & MFA with distinction from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. In 2021 she was awarded a PhD in Visual Arts from Stellenbosch University for her project titled Decentering the Archive: Visual Fabrications of Sonic Memories, which explored a site of cultural heritage through a decolonial feminist lens and is published by the online cultural journal herri. She has performed, screened and exhibited her work nationally and internationally, and is currently a Postdoc Fellow of the Africa Open Institute working on the project Decay without mourning: future-thinking heritage practices.
Decay without mourning: future-thinking heritage practices is a project that is covered by a network of research teams studying decay in various heritage sites of South Africa, Brazil, Japan and Antarctica. Given the perspective of decay, a more unconventional understanding of heritage may be explored and linked to broader concerns of ecological and environmental sustainability. As artistic researcher for the project I am examining traces of visual and sonic decay in the Hidden Years Music Archive and exploring the aesthetic value and regenerative potential of decay in order to produce alternative avenues for engaging with, and reflecting upon cultural heritage. I will be collaborating with other artists to produce a series of studies of decay debris in the archive across the mediums of photography, film, sound, performance and installation.