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Surrealism, duality, and the digital: A Q&A with Tshepiso Moropa

CF: You work with collage to a large extent. Do you find collage to be a useful medium for the various themes and ideas you’re interested in exploring?
TM: Yes, the theme that keeps on recurring in my work is of dreams and nightmares. I wanted to create work that not only had a bit of surrealistic appeal to it but also had a realistic approach to it. So, collage making essentially allows me to do that. Being able to manipulate images and compose them into just one art piece is definitely a skill that I am comfortable in because it gives me the freedom that I need to create without any limitations.

Tshepiso Moropa South African artist interview
Tshepiso Moropa PHOTO Andiswa Mkosi

CF: Can you tell us a bit about the making of your recent body of work, ​The Memory of Me in Her​?
TM: In The Memory of Me in Her, I explore themes surrounding belonging, interiority and the potential of the subconscious by juxtaposing the self to the idea of the self – taking into consideration social standards and various identities to create and represent widely imaginative new guises. It is a personal project which questions what is real and what is not. Furthermore, this work explores themes surrounding sexuality, guilt, and dualism; light and dark, stillness and movement.

  • Tshepiso Moropa South African artist interview
  • Tshepiso Moropa South African artist interview
  • Tshepiso Moropa South African artist interview
  • Tshepiso Moropa South African artist interview

CF: The way we create and engage with art was radically altered this year. Did your work as a digital artist help you to better navigate artmaking during the ongoing pandemic, or did you find your practice or approach to artmaking needed to adapt?
TM: This is a great question. I strongly believe that my work has gotten better because of the pandemic. I do realise that the pandemic has had its challenges and I personally was affected because of it, but on the other hand, spending time at home forced me to think just a little bit more about my work. Yes, I create beautiful works but what about them? What is the message I’m trying to convey in my work? Does it have meaning? Is it sensitive to the viewer? Am I creating work for myself or for the audience? I started thinking critically about my work and I had more than enough time to research artists that influence me like Jane Alexander, Cornelia Parker, Frida Orupabo, and in retrospect, it made me not only a better artist but a better person. It was a humbling experience.

CF: Where can we keep up to date with your latest works and exhibitions?
TM: I post new work on my Instagram page, @TshepisoMoropaa, every now and again. I also use the platform to update on the upcoming exhibitions I may have. In addition, I post new art series on my online art portfolio (tshepisomoropa.myportfolio.com) as well.

Go to page 1of our Q&A with Tshepiso Moropa.

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