CF: You’ve been working predominantly with printmaking and video recently. What draws you to these two mediums specifically?
MN: I was seduced. I am coyly laughing as I say this, but I honestly was. When applying to Wits, I had intentions of being a painter. I am rather well technically skilled in the medium and I wanted to master it. I haven’t really picked up a brush in four years because printmaking and I have just been in the most dramatically rousing relationship. I enjoy the manual labour which the analogue medium demands. I enjoy how demanding it is as well as how much other media it has within it. Whereas with the Video Installation work, it was a consequence of circumstance. There was a ceramic sculpture piece that I was working on and I couldn’t get it right. Exploring it with prints presented a limitation of form so I frustratedly picked up a camera and ventured into video art. The spoken narrative, sonic and motion quality of Video is enticing to the concepts of love and storytelling.
What’s interesting for me is seeing how I’m developing a visual language, how even in my videos, there’s an inescapable layered material and textural weight to it that is clearly borrowed from my printmaking interests and visual quality. I am excited to see this visual language further develop from its budding stages in my initial monotypes, as well as to explore a collaboration between the two media.
CF: You’re finishing up an Honours in Fine Art at Wits University. What’s next?
MN: I have been contemplating a Masters in Netherlands or London or Tokyo because I want to move there, and I think that school is a viable avenue for that. But I also enjoy it here, very much so. I feel like I haven’t experienced Johannesburg enough or even established a practice to dare and get into a Master’s programme. I want to stay here a bit longer. I feel conflicted, so then I think about residency programmes as an opportunity to have both. I love home, but I don’t want to ever feel limited by this love, or any kind of love and in response to this indecision I think about Kabelo Malatsie’s concept of muṱhala. In Mawande ka Zenzile’s Uhambo Luyazilawula, Kabelo writes the most liberating and potent text about intuition and madness.
We often speak about being lost in the madness, but muṱhala is about being guided by it. Being dedicated to your impulses and trusting them to take the work where it’s going, to take you where you need to be. Mine are telling me take the next few years to experiment, collaborate and be in residencies.Motlhoki Nono
This is what I want to do for the next while, as well as go back to painting and figure out if I want to establish a practice in that and how.