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Jess Holdengarde (b.1991) is a South African artist who works predominantly in photography, film and auto fictional narrative. Jess’s current practice investigates the entangled relationship of precarity and temporality with the natural environment. Through the consideration of her subject and the materials she uses, Jess considers the role of a lens-based practitioner in an ecological crisis. Her process creates a counter narrative to the natural world being separate and opposed to humans whilst challenging binary knowledge systems that reject the very reality of our intertwined existence . Jess has recently focused on combining plant based chemistry, queer ecology and auto ethnographical experiences in order to make sense of the world we co-exist within. The artist utilises the natural environment - as both a subject and a resource - to explore a deeper understanding of the role of an artist in environmental ruin.


2016 Bachelor’s of Fine Art (Distinction in Studio Work) Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town

2021 Masters in Fine Art (Distinction) The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK



2022 Urban Entanglements, Ilali Studio, Berlin, Germany (Supported by Ilali Studio and Creative Scotland)



2013 Rhodes Student Exhibition Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape

2014 Where The Wild Things Are, Curated by Nina Liebenberg, Michaelis Upper Gallery. Cape Town, SA

2015 LunchBox, The Eye Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2016 In bed with Series/Friends, performance with Dr Alexandra Ross, World Art Gallery, Cape Town, SA

2016 Orms Staff Show, CTSP, Cape Town, South Africa

2016 By Way of Hand, CTSP, Cape Town, South Africa

2017 Out Of Nowhere, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town, SA

2017 Redemptive Beauty, Eclectica Gallery, Cape Town, SA

2017 Orms Staff Show, CTSP, Cape Town, SA

2017 Re (union), Art.b Gallery, Belleville, SA.

2017 Salad, Summer Group Show, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town, SA

2018 Close Encounters Group Show, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town, SA

2018 Meditative Moments, Group Show, Gallery One11, Cape Town, SA

2018 Summer Group Show, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town, SA Art Fairs

2018 Investec Cape Town Art Fair with SMITH Gallery, Cape Town International Convention Centre, SA

2019 Emphatic Whispers, Group Show, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town. SA

2019 Someone You Love Has an Abortion Story to Tell, Constitution Hill, Women’s Jail, Johannesburg, SA

2021 The 195th RSA Annual Exhibition, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK. [Online]

2021 Hot Wheels, GSA MFA Showcase, The Glue Factory, Glasgow, UK

2021 In Process, an exhibition by Fix Photography Collective and GSA, The Glasgow Art Club, Glasgow, UK 



2020 What’s the name of that yellow flower (Temporal Landscapes), in conversation with Catrin Menai, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow, UK (Supported by GSA Sustainability Award)

2020 Recantations, in collaboration with Kate Holford, The Savings Bank, Glasgow, UK.

2021 Dreaming Lockdown, ongoing video project with Glasgow based artist, Beth Shapeero, Glasgow, UK



2021 a holding place, Collaborative Publication with Glasgow based artist, Lydia Davies, Glasgow, UK

2022 ISM magazine, 4th edition, artist interview and commission cover, Glasgow, UK



2017 Berlin Art Institute, Berlin, Germany

2018 Warren Editions, Printmedia Internship, Cape Town, South Africa

2022 Ecologies of Perception, Research and Development Residency, Ilali Studio, Berlin



2022 Figurative Alchemy, Bristol, United Kingdom (private collector)



2022 Millfield Darkroom, Millfield School, Somerset, UK

2022  St Pauls Community Darkroom, Real Photography Company, Bristol, UK




Inkcubeko Nezobugcisa NPC, Xhosa language LGBQT activation sessions

Xhosa speaking photographic activation sessions for LGBQT creatives in South Africa by an Initiative in Woodstock, Cape Town. This has been I worked with the initiative on a consultation basis helping them design a sustainable community project. This is currently taking place on a bi-weekly basis.


Art+Feminism Activation Sessions

Co-host with Dr Alexandra Ross for a series of online and in person wiki-edit-a-thons for the Art+Feminism Campaign. The organisation is committed to closing information gaps related to gender, feminism, and the arts, beginning with Wikipedia.We hosted our first session in South Africa together in 2016, and have hosted a series of events in South Africa and Glasgow each year.


FIX Photographic Collective

Co-founder of a recently established photographic collective in Glasgow with Christina McBride. Our aim is to create a resource and alternative lensed based educational space which has more concern for the environment and community. The collective is hosting a series of sustainability events with GSA to coincide with COP26 in November 2021.



Close Of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action Series

This was a series of events hosted in November and December 2021 which included the exhibition ‘In-Process’, an online panel discussion, a guest lecture and a number of workshops. The month long activations were organised by GSA and Fix Photography Collective  to coincide with COP26 in Glasgow. The series of events expanded a dialogue around issues of sustainability and offered an opportunity to establish a space for conversation, participation and support which offers alternative methods of co-creation in an ecological crisis.




2015-2017 Photographic and personal assistant to Photographer Vanessa Cowling, Cape Town UK

2016 Research assistant to Professor Svea Josephy, at Michaelis School of FineArt, Cape Town, South Africa

2018 2nd Shooting Assistant to Sara Thomson, Crew Scotland, Edinburgh, UK

2018 - CURRENT Broadscope Studio Manager, Glasgow, UK




2016 -2019 Part time Lecturer at Orms Cape Town School of Photography, Cape Town, South Africa

2016 - 2017 Assistant Pottery Teacher at The Hill Primary School, Constantia, Cape Town, SouthAfrica

2016 - 2017 Assistant Pottery Teacher, Reddham House, Constantia and Greenpoint, Cape Town, South Africa

2017 Assistant Art Club Teacher, Reddham House, Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa

2017 Part Time Assistant Lecturer to Ashley Walters, Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa

2018 Part Time Assistant Lecturer to Vanessa Cowling, Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa

2019 Photographic workshop facilitator at House for an Art Lover, Studio Pavilion, Glasgow, UK

2019 Creative Photography Teacher at Summer School for Teens, Stirling University, Stirling, Scotland, UK



2022 Creative Scotland Open Fund for Individuals, Ecologies of Perception, Research and Development Project

2020 Re-rewarded The Oppenheimer International Memorial Scholarship

2019 The Oppenheimer International Memorial Scholarship

2019 The Glasgow School of Art Governor’s International Scholarship

2017 Short-listed for Arts and Thread Future Creator Award

2016 Humanities Scholarship, University of Cape Town, SA

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