Where does your passion for art comes from?
It’s hard to explain where the internal desire to constantly create something that makes me feel very deeply, and that is equally aesthetically pleasing and makes others feel deeply too comes from. However it’s something that has always been there. I used to draw on walls, had tons of coloring books and made my own visual journals as a child. I just loved being creative in any way I could be. I think my passion lies in the arts generally; you should see me on stage! Haha. But my maternal grandmother was a creative person; she sewed and made hats and wedding shoes/clothes for additional income to raise her five children after her husband’s untimely death. That’s definitely a major inspiration. She features in a lot of my artworks.
Briefly describe your artistic journey up until the point of entering Sasol New Signatures?
I’ve been pursuing my art degree at the University of Pretoria for the past 4 years, and in those years I have often struggled to find ways to artistically translate the meaning behind my story, often due to all the crazy ideas constantly bursting through my mind. However as the years progressed, so did my concepts and ideas of executing my work, always remembering to respect the materiality of my chosen mediums and how it assisted in communicating my concept which was something my lecturers instilled in me. Late last year after months of frustration preparing work for my 4th year exhibition, I finally found a working method though the use of found objects (old family photographs) and the Seshweshwe cloth for executing my concept which was also inspired by conversations with my mother and other women in my life.
What motivated you to enter the Sasol New Signatures art competition? I was very pleased with the way they work made me feel when I was finally done, I felt I had finally achieved what I’ve meant to communicate all along, furthermore I was overwhelmed with the positive & emotional reaction this series of work has received from different audiences at all the various places I have been invited to exhibit this year and this truly motivated my entering Sasol New Signatures. This competition gives a platform for a larger audience to experience my work, which is immensely exciting.
What excites you about the creative process?
What excites me is trying out various new materials and mediums, which I haven’t worked much with, and finding ways to combine them all to make the artwork a success. When it all comes together at the end, despite ALL the trials one encounters along the way, that is exciting beyond measure!
Tell us about your preferred medium/s …and why?
I prefer mixing mediums because I equally enjoy painting, drawing, sculpting, digital art and photography. I simply can’t choose so I combine them all and see what works always trying to make sure I respect each medium I use.
If you could summarise your work in three independent words, what would it be?
Powerful, Emotional, Informative
Did this competition teach you anything about yourself?
Definitely! It has taught me to have more confidence and faith in my craft, my purpose, my voice and my story. It has also taught me that success truly does happen when preparation meets opportunity.
Which local artists do you admire?
Esther Mahlangu, Nandipha Mntambo, Dineo Bopape, Zanele Muholi, Tony Gum, Loyiso Mkize, iQhiya collective, Neo Motloga, Usha Seejarim, Tracey Rose, Mohau Modisakeng, Mary Sibande, Roxette Malala, Trevor Stuurman. Just to name a few, but they’re a lot, I’m constantly absorbing from everyone and everything around me.
What are you currently working on/What is next for you as an artist?
I’m currently working on starting a new collaborative community project with US based artist Charles Jean-Pierre, I have previously been involved in community art initiatives namely Project Art for Hope (2015) and Art for Expression (2016) in association with Fordham University’s Ubuntu program whereby we teach and create artworks based on telling personal stories of hope and expression with high school students from neighboring townships Soshanguve. I am also currently making new artworks further exploring the themes I have been working with to hopefully exhibit in more gallery shows locally and internationally as well as enter into more competitions as a platform to spread my work further out into the world and affirm my position as an emerging artist with an important story to tell.
What impact would winning this competition have on you?
It would be a complete game changer for me. I have so much creativity dying for an amazing platform to fully exert myself, explore, grow and be as excellent as I can be as well as inform, empower and inspire through my craft. I am still shocked, ecstatic and honored to be part of the 7 finalists and I know I will only grow from this amazing opportunity.
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