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Oupa V.Mokwena is a cross breed craftsman who comes full circle, a self starter, talented and disciplined fee soul with interior design diploma which I acquired in 2001. After completing my matric in 1991 I registered with the university of south Africa studying for a B.A in fine arts and because of financial constraints I couldn't finish my studies with unisa.

When I studied with the technikon I continued with the arts and I've never stopped creating. In 2003 I took l part in a one year long learnership in product development NQF6 .The leanership was packed with a lot of information and methodologies on working with the illiterate, talented and people with special needs craft groups.

From that I continued working with crafters in from different provinces and in the process got qualified as an assessor and a moderator. Currently I've registered a close corporation which is a multi discipline in nature and i am currently trying to raise capital for the smooth running of the company.

 

 

 


 

 

Every single line that is visible on the side edge of each cut-out figure is proof of the process I call ‘carving’- challenging the traditional meaning of the word. Instead of following the line with the band-saw blade, I cut towards the line – carving away millimetres of wood at a time – leaving the marking evidence that the tip of the blade was there, eating its way into the flesh of each figure. For this reason, each piece can take anything from two to six months to finish. No artificial colouring, oils, wood polish or gloss are used on the wood surface. This process ensures I get through to the natural and true ‘skin’ of the wood.

The figures in my work are silhouettes of children; a ‘silhouette’ can also represent the ‘skin’ of an object. Skin in one way or another represents the self – in this case, self characterizes a “surface entity”. Freud views the skin as the insignificant covering for the important self, which is hidden inside. Another theory about skin is where there is a consciousness of the existential significance of skin, meaning that skin is an integral part of who we are, and damage to the skin signifies damage to the soul.

I am currently employed at a children’s art centre, where I am fortunate enough to engage directly with my subject. Working with children has encouraged me to delve deeper into one’s identity, asking questions such as who are we? how have we evolved to become this person? As a child I grew up within a dysfunctional and divided family, with both my parents and grandparents divorced. This has made me extremely conscious of other people’s relationships, observing them very closely. I remember, as a child, concluding that there is no such thing as perfection. Later on realizing how perfect each and every imperfection actually is.

When conceptualising my art, I have come to understand that I am creating my own language, and that that becomes stronger with each individual piece. I have taught myself to be honest and transparent throughout the process of my work – excepting that there is no wrong or right in what I do. On completion of each piece, I get to see my unconscious thoughts has manifested into something real.



 

 

Being an artist there is no time for blending in with the crowd. The challenges for an artist remains to discover an individualistic artistic style, to deviate from prevailing artistic norms in order to emerge as unique but at the same time addressing relevant social issues.

There are no boundaries in art expression as long as one identifies a medium that they are comfortable working with and masters that medium. The world is changing and the environment is becoming unpredictable, however religion and culture still plays a huge role in our history. It connects us with our forefathers: and parents and grandparents are here to tell those stories. The way we deal with what has happened and what is happening now makes us dream about the future.

My work is focused on the appearance of skin. The three animals I identify with the most are goats, sheep and cows. These animals play a role in my culture because they dressed the old generation, they feed families, they heal families and they are part of a celebration. The one thing that will be left is the skin. The skin protects and also camouflages.


 

 

 


 

 

My work seeks to address, question and find comfort in the endlessly enduring human preoccupation with an identity and the inescapability of being placed/misplaced, classified/misclassified and misidentified/identified. The questions I raised in previous works were…how do politics, sexuality, traditions and belief systems influence who and what I have become, I also explored memory. Now it is an attempt to understand the nature of my desire and association to particular places, spaces and my relationship with particular relatives.

I seem to have a need for a connection with specific people, places and spaces, in the case of my work place being physical, a place can be defined as all that I digest with all my senses and space being mental, intangible but it is what I use to define a place, it could be easily understood as a state of being. How I change, act and react who and what I am completely depends on a particular place and space.

I use numbers in my work because they offer comfort from words/alphabets, though they are accessible they don’t offer immediate meanings or instant gratification but they also posses inherited meanings, for example the numbers 13 is not easily acceptable to people, most hotels chose not to have it as a room number, choosing 11,12 and 14. These numbers are specifically derived from a game called Fah-Fee*. A game of numbers with specific meanings. I manipulate this game, its history, its numbers and their meanings to communicate visually.


*Fah-fee: A numbers game played mostly by black women managed by a Chinese man. It consists of 36 numbers, each with specific meaning. Usually the punters translate their dreams into numbers and place a bet, just like the lottery but on a very small and illegal scale. The Chinese man selects the winning number for the day and keeps the rest while the winner gets his/her share depending on the numbers of winners.

The shape of this print is derived from a hand with the index finder pointing down, a gesture very familiar with people who board taxis. This speaks of a particular places but the number emphasizes this because of who the work is about. The use of the linoleum is very symbolic as well, since it is a process that requires the removal of parts from the whole to reveal the other.
LOCAL II Linoleum 70 x 50cm.


 

 

 

Senzo Shabangu is from a small village in Mpumalanga Province, called Driefontein, where he completed his metric.

He now resides in Parktown Johannesburg.

He has completed a three-year course in printmaking at Artist Proof Studio, and in 2009 he worked as a printer in a Professional Printing space, APS Pro-Shop.

He is a David Koloane Residency Award winner he is currently has the studio in the Bag factory Artist Studio in Fords burg..

While his heart remains in Mpumalanga, his main themes are based on life experience - the pressures of life, and the pressures of life in Johannesburg, compared to his earlier rural lifestyle. "I know by experience, life has pressure; sometimes the life itself creates pressure, loved ones, family, peer pressure.... even money. But Joburg pressure makes me ask myself a million questions." He has started a Non Profit Organization Called MMYFM in Driefountein where he teach and organize soccer tournaments and Printing Workshops..

He is well known for the work he did for a global conference last year (2008) entitled "Many voices, one movement" (see www.manyvoicesonemovement.org).

Most of his work is currently found in Art Afrique gallery, Kensington.

He believes that as a resident artist, charity begins at home. The gallery has already created a platform for his name and his work, which is sold locally and overseas.


 


 

 

Raymond Marlowe a documentary photographer inspired by a photographer, Guy Tillim. Raymond 's Documentation work is based on his own life experiences. He find it very calming to photograph things he had experienced. Wich help him understand and see life different thru his camera lens. When Raymond take an image his sees it as a point of starting a conversation. So his images shows life experienced issues like separation, arpartheid, Discrimination. He believes that the best way of solving issues is by starting a conversation that lead to an open discussion.

Whenever I photograph I get very close to my subject. I try and understand where they come from, how they feel about themselves and how thy see the world around them. It makes it very easy for me to show what I see tru my camera lens.

Raymond Marlowe's current work is about migration farm workers on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe. He photographed Zimbabweans crossing the Limpopo river into South Africa and the farms they work on, just on the border.

 

 


 


 

 

Lameck Nyagudi is a Kenyan photographer who was born in Nairobi in 1984. He is currently studying photojournalism and documentary photography at the Market photo Workshop .


This young artist discovered the love for photography in his first year while studying graphic design. The passion for art form drew him to document the environmental effects of a dumpsite in Dandora slum, Nairobi. He later entered a photography competition and won a second prize. He loves to frame anything that delivers a message, inspires an idea or that which generates any kind of emotion.