Download Artist Profiles
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.
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
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
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
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.
is from a small village in Mpumalanga Province, called Driefontein,
where he completed his metric.
He now resides in Parktown
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
He is well known for
the work he did for a global conference last year (2008) entitled
"Many voices, one movement" (see
Most of his work is
currently found in Art Afrique gallery, Kensington.
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.