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anthea moys

Artist, educator and practice researcher.

Spanning over fifteen years, my work as an artist involves co-creating playful, socially responsive, and surprising contemporary art projects with people in unexpected places. Finding traditional art spaces like galleries and theatres a bit inaccessible and exclusive to the public in Johannesburg, I found that sports were more accessible to people so I started working and playing with people in their gyms, community halls, and fields. The work is made in response to, with, and for the site and the people I work with and is often marketed to both a contemporary art and culturally specific (usually sports and social clubs) audience. It involves a listening, ground-up, iterative workshop process of learning the existing rules of the game, and, over time the co-creation of something else that is relevant and valuable to everyone involved.


From a boxing gym to a classroom or a conference, I have delivered workshops in many different contexts. Following a keynote address and workshop that I gave at the CounterPlay festival in Denmark in 2017, for three months in 2018, I was invited to be a resident artist and researcher at the LEGO Foundation in Denmark where the local community and I workshopped how to communicate dense information on play through the arts to a wide public. In February 2020 I facilitated a workshop ‘Play to Keep on Playing or Play to Win’ which played with ideas around power at the Wellcome Collection in London. From 2019 - 2022 I worked with Falmouth University design staff in delivering several play workshops for 100 3rd year design students. The workshops improved interpersonal relationships, enhanced self-confidence, and developed a play practice for their creative design process.

Some artistic achievements include: In 2013 I won the inaugural Standard Bank Young Artist award for performance art in South Africa. In 2015 I was part of the JOBURG MASSIVE collective and one of the performance artists selected as part of the Johannesburg Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. In 2017 I was one of three selected performance artists from Africa to participate in the ‘History Will Be Kind To Me for I Will Perform It’ traveling residency project in Norway, Finland, and Sweden. 

All the faces you see on this website have willingly consented to be a part of each project and its representation. I am eternally grateful to each player for their willingness to share their energy, passion, wisdom, and mad skills with me!

Anthea Moys

Curriculum Vitae:


2001-2009: BAFA and MAFA at University of Witwatersrand

2008-2013: Vega Creative Development Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand sessional Lecturer

2013: Won the inaugural award for Performance Art in South Africa (Standard Bank Young Artist Award)

2013-2018: Freelance independent artist working locally & internationally for a range of festivals, galleries, and artistic residencies

2018-2022: Won a studentship to complete a practice research Ph.D. at Northumbria University (completed Nov 2022)


  • Northumbria University: practice research Ph.D.: Full time, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2018-2022.

Thesis title: ‘Ambidlala: Towards a Methodology of Refluxivity in Play’. Developing anti-racist decolonial methodologies for play and performance studies.

  • University of the Witwatersrand:  Masters in Fine Arts (with distinction) Full-time Johannesburg, 2005-2008. 

MA Thesis Title: Enacting Play: Performance in the Public Domain. During this study period, I also participated in the MAPS (Masters of Arts in the Public Domain) at Ecole de Cantonale du Arte, Sierre, Switzerland.

  • University of the Witwatersrand: BAFA focus: video and installation art. 



  • FHEA Fellowship status of the Higher Education Academy, March 2021.

  • Curious Monkey Facilitator Workshop, 2021.

  • Kaos Pilot Master Class Art & Craft of

  • Facilitating Creative Learning Spaces, Aarhus, Denmark, 2018.

  • Art Therapy and Social Activism 6 weeks

  • University of Johannesburg, 2016.


  • Awarded Fellow at the Saari Residence Kone Foundation Finland, September-October, 2020.

  • History Will Be Kind To Me For I Intend to Perform It 1-month traveling residency to perform at 3 performance art festivals, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, August-September 2018.

  • Astrid Noaks Atelier ‘Move Through’ experiential run, August 2017 and ‘Hello/Goodbye Party’, Denmark, 2018.

  • JHBMassive Crowd-funding project: Johannesburg to Accra: Chale Wote Street Festival, 2015.

  • CC Joburg Glasgow billboard commission and residency at Ithuba Art Gallery, Johannesburg, July/August 2015.

  • Fakugesi Afro Tech Riot festival Gqom Together collaboration with Original Swimming Party, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Leboghang Rasathaba and Lasta Mkhize, 2016.

  • The Johannesburg Pavilion participating artist, the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, May 2015.

  • Afro Vibes Festival: Resident artist in for 3 weeks for the development of The Tin Can Choir in collaboration with youth in the area and Friction Arts, Birmingham, 2014.

  • Standard Bank Young Artist Award: resident artist in Grahamstown, South Africa for the development of Anthea Moys vs The City of Grahamstown April - July 2013. Resident artist in Geneva, Switzerland for the development of Anthea Moys contre les Communes Geneve, for Antigel Festival, December 2013 - February 2014. 

  • Monash University South African Artist in Residence Program, Melbourne Australia February 2010.

  • Infecting The City: Spier Performing Arts Festival: Human Right/Human Rite: November 2009 and Jan and Feb 2010 and Treasure: Cape Town February 2011.

  • Kin:Be:Jozi: part of the Joubert Park Project - an exchange project between artists from Bern, Kinshasa, and Johannesburg. Duration: 6 months. Johannesburg, June 2007.


As an artist and researcher, I have often used the format of the workshop to develop ideas, and co-create and collaborate with other people. As my life-long research has revolved around an interest in the generative capacity of play, most of my workshops are about exploring play through different lenses with different goals/outcomes for each group.


  • BALTIC CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART: Commissioned Workshop Artist, 2022.


Included 3 workshops where I worked with the BALTIC’s Young Producers group over 4 weeks to respond to Albert Potrony’s ‘EQUAL PLAY’ installation. 



As part of the Play Well festival at the Wellcome Trust, I was invited to facilitate two 1-hour workshops. ‘Play to Win or Play to Keep on Playing’ explored the tension between playing and power that is felt when playing competitive and non-competitive games and included a 30-minute discussion at the end. The workshops were attended to over-capacity and formed part of my practice-research Ph.D.


  • LEGO FOUNDATION: Capital of Children, Billund, DK. Artist and practice researcher in residence, Oct 2017-Jan 2018.


After witnessing a keynote I presented at the CounterPlay festival in Aarhus, Denmark (2017), I was head-hunted and invited to be an artist and researcher in residence at LEGO Foundation. For this role, I conducted interviews with locals, led several focus groups, and visited over 30 galleries in Denmark and London researching how to make LEGO Foundations' dense research on ‘Learning Through Play’ accessible through art. The research informed how they worked with artists in the future.



Organised, project managed, and co-facilitated two ‘play retreats’ with theatre maker Roberto Pombo. These play retreats invited people to learn how to collaborate through play, engage creatively with different play theories and connect with each other.

  • HIVOS Southern Africa: Zambia Media, and Creativity Fund: Communicating and Collaborating through Play Workshop, Lusaka, Zambia 2013.

I was commissioned to design creative playful learning materials to engage 20 media students. The workshops provided the media and creative writing students with innovative ways to collaborate and inspired their writing and media practice.



From 2008 – 2022 I worked both part-time and full-time as a Visiting Lecturer, Lecturer, and Associate Lecturer at various Higher Education institutions in South Africa, Germany, Finland, and the UK. This has included teaching and mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate students.


  • Northumbria University Newcastle-upon-Tyne January 2019 – August 2022: Associate Lecturer


In this role, I was responsible for working independently and closely with permanent staff members in teaching Foundation, 1st, 2nd, 3rd year, and masters students. The role included curriculum development and design, group, and individual consultations, providing clear summative and formative feedback, project management (team outings, risk assessments, managing budgets, working with the marketing team), and pastoral care.


  • Falmouth University Falmouth, September 2019, 2021 & 2022: Visiting Lecturer


In this role, I worked with the permanent staff members and was responsible for designing a week-long creative learning experience that engaged 100 3rd year and master's design students in the theory and practice of play. The aim of this ‘week of play’ was to enhance the students’ design practice and develop closer interpersonal relationships (particularly relevant post-pandemic).


  • Birmingham University, May April 2022: Visiting Lecturer and Research Seminar.


Inspired by the work I was doing at Falmouth, Birmingham University invited me to come and lead a workshop in play and performance with their creative writing, fine art, and drama students.


  • University of the Witwatersrand, School of the Arts, 2013-2018: Sessional Staff member.


Between 2006 and 2014 I was hired as a sessional lecturer at the Wits School of

the Arts. I designed modules and taught classes primarily in the Fine Arts Department, but also led my own interdisciplinary projects (which I raised external funding for) that included students from Drama for Life, Fine Art, Music, Film, and Digital Arts (for example HIV/AIDS: in it together (2011), Flipside Public Game (2012) and ‘Drawing and Performance’ resulting in a final show at Ithuba Residency project: Backspace (2014).


  • Vega School of Brand Leadership, 2008-2013, part-time (2008-2011) and full-time (2011-2013) Creative Development Lecturer.


My responsibilities for this role included teaching, curriculum design and development, support and care for Foundation, 1st, and 3rd year & Honours supervision. Curating the student art for the campus. Communicating with parents, participating in Open Days, and working closely with recruiting, registration, and marketing team: widening participation.


  • Endorsed by Arts and Culture England for Global Talent Visa in the performing arts, 2022.

  • Short-listed for Professorship in Performance Art, MUK University, Vienna, 2022.

  • Awarded Fellowship status, FHEA, 2021.

  • Winner of a 3-year studentship for a practice-research Ph.D. at Northumbria University, 2018-2021.

  • Winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art (inaugural) in 2013.

  • Lecturer award for D&AD (Design and Art Direction) for mentoring the winning student, 2011.

  • Selected as one of Mail & Guardian's Top 200 South Africans, 2011.

  • Invited to and attended Michelle Obama’s Forum on Women and Leadership, 2011.

  • Winner of the Braitt - Everard Read Award, 2009.

  • Merit Award from Wits University, 2005.


About Me
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