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An ephemeral world of light and shadow | A Q&A with painter Patrick Rulore

In 2019, the artist Patrick Rulore won the title of overall winner for the Sasol New Signatures competition. As part of his prize, he received the opportunity to have his own solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum in November 2021.

Rulore was born in 1995 in Johannesburg. After matriculating in 2013, he started an art company producing portraits. He completed his National Diploma in Fine Arts at Tshwane University of Technology in 2021. 

Rulore has exhibited widely and participated in several group exhibitions, including India Delhi 2015, Pretoria Penthouse 2015, Stephan Weltz & Co 2016, Art Alive Brooklyn 2017, Centurion Art Gallery 2018 and Retro Art Gallery 2021. 

His work was selected in the Top 100 Sasol New Signatures Competition 2017 and 2018. He was also selected for the Top 100 at Thami Mnyele Fine Arts competition in 2017. He received the Painting Award in 2018 as well as being selected for the top 15 in 2019. He was  selected as the overall winner for Sasol New Signatures art competition in 2019 for his work Stage 4 Moments.

In this Q&A, we hear all about his solo exhibition Life in Darkness.

Tell us about your solo exhibition.  

I will be showing 15 paintings in total, all of them oil on canvas. These paintings form part of my Stage 4 moments series which captures typical moments in many South African households during load shedding.  While it is undeniably unwelcome, load shedding has disrupted the normal scenario where individual family members are effectively isolated from each other, being immersed in the escapist realities offered by electronic devices like cellphones and televisions. The series explores human connections against the backdrop of an ephemeral world of light and shadow.

Do you have a favourite work? If so which one and why?

Yes I do. It is titled Where’s my shoe II. I love this piece because it shows a typical activity that happens in my family. Most of the time, there is always something someone is searching for during load shedding. So, in this case, a missing shoe!

Patrick Rulore current exhibition 2021
Patrick Rulore, Where is my shoe II, oil on canvas, 99 x 120 cm

What kind of response are you hoping for when people see your work?

I am excited and nervous at the same time as this is my first solo exhibition. I am hoping for a positive response but most importantly I need an honest one. I believe my artworks are a universal language and should relate to everyone since load shedding has become national disruption. In my work I show various people in different circumstances using all kinds of light sources. There’s sun light, torch, candles and a glass paraffin lamp. 

  • Patrick Rulore current exhibition 2021
  • Patrick Rulore current exhibition 2021
  • Patrick Rulore current exhibition 2021
  • Patrick Rulore current exhibition 2021

What do you want people to know about Patrick the artist?

I want people to know me as an artist that is mesmerised by the darkness. That I, the artist, finds more life connection and human interaction when lights are off. In summary I am the artist of the darkness. 

What is next for you after this exhibition? 

Another solo exhibition is what I am planning to do. Other than that I want to grow as an artist and travel the world. I also want to use this amazing opportunity to inspire other artists. Don’t give up! Be true to yourself. Being an artist is unique and we must be able to share our experience in different ways. 

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Find out more about Rulore, as well as the 2021 Sasol New Signatures winners here.

The Creative Feel team caught up with Rulore earlier in the year ahead of his exhibition, you can find out more by reading our June catch up Q&A on the artist.

In light of his current solo exhibition running alongside the winners and finalists of this year’s Sasol New Signatures exhibition, make sure you catch up with the merit award winners, runner-up and overall winner.

Or catch up with the 2021 Sasol New Signatures overall winer, Andrea du Plessis in this short Q&A.

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