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For Sale Project Exhibition Press release

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The Pretoria Art Museum is pleased to present the 13th edition of the For Sale Project Exhibition. The exhibition titled “Lived Experiences” comprises of young emerging artists who come from various spaces around and outside of the City of Tshwane.

This group exhibition will feature eight young emerging artists who are all part of the Education and Development Programme of the Pretoria Art Museum. The aim of the programme is to acquaint aspiring visual artists and curators with various platforms that are concerned with art practice, namely exhibitions, art making workshops, guided tours and walk-abouts.

For Sale Project Exhibition 2013 (2)

The participating artists include Noko Mello, Mary-Jane Letsoalo, Nalize Venter, Themba Msiza, Thato Seboko, Refilwe Phetla, Siphesihle Biyela and Eve Bodirwa.  These artists come from different backgrounds; they all have their own personal stories and “lived experiences” that they communicate through their art.  For most of these artists, technique and skill plays an important role in communicating ideas about their different life experiences.

For Sale Project Exhibition 2013 (3)

The artists will be present at the opening reception on the Wednesday of the 4th from 18:00-20:00. The exhibition will be availed for viewing in the East Gallery from Tuesdays-Sundays from 10:00-16:00, with guided tours arranged by appointment. The “Lived Experiences” exhibition will run until 29 September 2013.

Shehnaz SAuliman School of Art and Tshwane Muslim School

`Let the children play`

 

“Every child is an artist. The main problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” These are the remarks of one of the most famous artists of the 20th century Pablo Picasso. Picasso like many others of his time enjoyed the luxury and privilege of art mentorship and training under the guidance of his father who himself was an artist.

The year 2012 saw the Pretoria Art Museum embark on one of its many and fruitful endeavors of facilitating art workshops to a select group of children who do not have access to art. The Children Tile Art Project 20Twelve (CTAP 20Twelve) is an initiative that focuses primarily on engaging learners in visual and arts literacy. From its first inception in 2006, inspired by the International Peace Tile Project which has done visual art skills transfer in third world countries, this initiative was conceived out of the need to provide space where young children can gain access to art practice under the guidance of art facilitators here in Tshwane.

The art facilitators responsible for presenting series of workshops which make up the project are volunteers or Education Assistants/EAs at the Pretoria Art Museum and are mostly art practitioners themselves. They participate in the Education and Development Programme offered by the museum.  This programme enables the Educational Assistants to transfer their skills and knowledge of art to any audience, either visiting the museum through guided tours or participating in one of the workshops offered at the museum. It must be noted that working and being part of this prgramme requires extensive and meticulous planning in order to conduct successful guided tours and workshops.

This year Shehnaz Suliman School of Art and Tshwane Muslim School were selected to participate in the Children Tile Art Project. In presenting a coherent project the EA’s were tasked with presenting proposals that would make the contents of the Project. Upon the submissions of proposals, the EAs were grouped randomly together into pairs and tasked with conducting a series of workshops to be offered to the invited schools. These workshops were to be carried out over a period of five weeks, starting with an introductory Guided Tour of the Pretoria Art Museum, which was conducted by Tumisang Mokgadi and Mpho Nkgadimeng on 13 October. The actual workshops began with Thato Seboko and Seemole Seemole Eve Bodirwa, on 20 October, who did a Drawing Workshop. Their workshop mainly focused on utilizing two drawing mediums charcoal and pencil. Here the children were given an opportunity to explore still life compositions. Working on a 2-D surface, they trained them on how to create lines, tones, contrast, balance and various devices used in 2-D composition work such as shading techniques to mimic three dimensions.

The next workshop that followed was conducted by Simon Radebe and Noko Mello on 27 October. The two artists opted for a Collage Workshop. Their workshop centered on the creative use of imagery and textures on a 2-D surface, without deviating from the previous drawing workshop by Thato and Eve, The Collage Workshop somewhat picked up where the Drawing Workshop ended. This was of vital importance as fluidity was needed in for the children to get a good grasp of everything they were learning from each workshop as the project progressed.

The third workshop was conducted by Tshepang Maelangwe and Azael Langa on 03 November. I once heard someone remark that if you put a sculptor and a painter in one room then sparks are bound to fly. This was certainly not the case with these two artists; they conducted a Painting Workshop that emphasized Post-impressionism as a reference. The learners were encouraged to explore painting devices like impasto (thickly applied paint)…! Once again careful consideration and planning was displayed by these two gentlemen who did not only demonstrate what a Post-impressionist composition looks like but showed the children examples of works from old masters so that they could get a clear understanding of what was expected of them. The painting workshop also incorporated various mediums, mainly the ones that were used in the previous workshops. This was essential, because their workshop was a precursor to the next and final workshop, the mix-media workshop.

Tshegofatso Seoka, Sphiwe Makgoka and myself were responsible for this workshop. Our aim was to re-acquaint the children with the different mediums they have used in their journey with us, sort of deriving to a conclusion regarding the entire series of workshops. Another important aspect of our workshop was to highlight and bring to the fore the visual literacy skills that the children have but could not articulate nor convey yet. Thus, our workshop entailed making abstract compositions that were carried out through dialogue and communication amongst themselves and our fellow EAs. We threw in a spanner in the works by adding wax as an external medium, simply to add another dimension to their compositions. In this workshop we insisted on pairing the children into groups, and the reason behind this was to get them to interact and create dialogues amongst themselves when creating their artworks. This seemed to work like a charm as the outcomes far preceded the challenges.

What were the outcomes of CTAP 20Twelve one might ask? Well for starters this project created a beautiful exchange between the children and the facilitators. It was the first time some of us as facilitators had engaged in conducting workshops.  It was truly an enlightening experience. In a nutshell, five workshops later from our first meeting the children of the Shehnaz Suliman School of Art and Tshwane Muslim School have a better understanding of art mediums, composition and visual literacy. The Educational Assistants have the experience of having trained a very special audience, children. This in time will ensure art patronage in the visual arts if not only art appreciation. Through a group of a curatorial team consisting of Batlile Ngcobo, Siphesihle Nonkanyiso Biyela, Khulile Masiza and Sabelo Morodi  selected artworks from the workshops have been brought into an annual exhibition aimed at celebrating the International World Aids Day on 1st December 2012. The exhibition will close on 3 February 2013. My only hope from here onwards is for Picasso`s remark to prevail, and for these children to stay being artists.

26 November 2012

Thabang Monoa

Azael Langa is a final year student in Fine and Applied arts at the Tshwane University of Technology. He grew up in an artistic family and was mostly inspired by his dad to pursue arts. At first he did not adhere to being an artist until he won his first art competition in grade 6. After his primary years he went to an art High school and it was there where he realized that, that was exactly what he wanted to be – an artist.

Artists’ statement:

To me art is not a day job or career, but it is a lifestyle. My art is about socio-political activism and going about the subject I show the exploitation of the average joe; the corruption of the elite and bringing to the surface that which is of sight like they say “out of sight out of mind” it is also about taking the intangible events, circumstances and becoming a mediator to the public.

The Stepping_Stone exhibition showcases the following work of Azael Langa:

 Transition (2012)

Azael describes this artwork as displaying the process of changing from one situation state or form to another. With an immense play on time and the interpersonal change in spheres the artist articulates that:

“This artwork can be described as a depiction of transition, not only in the physical sphere but in various spheres or forms; whether it’s physiological or an emotional transition of the soul. Various elements in the painting depict the transition factors of the painting. There are kids on the fore ground, one of which is holding a grass rug which is a domestic term symbolising home. These symbols represent a pilgrimage or a landscape carrying these items which are a symbol for a home, which also depicts a pilgrimage or seeking for somewhere to belong.  As they are portrayed, the painting deals with three elements of their existence (a) their past, knowing that for them to be there, they have to be from somewhere, (b) their present, is where they find themselves in the surreal world which is chaotic (which I have archived by juxtaposing the real and sense of the hyper reality), yet with the desire to move to a better place (3) their future, which is the expectation they are carrying as they move with hope in their heart. The painting is also aimed at moving the viewer into two different spheres at the same time; on the one hand it pulls towards juxtaposed landscapes, on the other hand the kid is engaging with you as the viewer.  The engagement is through eye contact, trying to bring the viewer into a different sphere, a sphere of the inner soul, the lost landscape of one’s past, the dreams, hopes and fears.”

Revelations (2012)

Revelations is done with Acrylic paint on board and as the artist states “comments on the title of the artwork”.  Revelations depicts chains intertwined as per say on a canvas, to depict the revelations and things that become revealed but often so easily get intertwined in life, making chains of truth become a shackle of lies. Langa explains: “I could argue, bring contrast and an interesting dialogue between the title itself and the contents on the painting, the word revelations is the word pertaining to the opening up, revealing and even disclosing. Chains usually depict the closing of access or even bending something up, prohibition of territory, yet five chains locked together can be a symbol of truth. This title is a close blow on how band up and often elusive truth can be. There is so much information out there in this day and age, yet we are living in a place where truth can be bound up, manipulated and or even hidden away. “Truth is truth, but a lie can be made into truth””.

 Choice? (2011)

A train on its track depicted with oil on canvas, tackles the influences and the magnitude of which power has over people. The artists articulates that it does not matter where we are we are indeed influenced whether it be good or bad. This painting  further depicts a young man on top of the train- showing a dangerous activity which is popular in the townships called train surfing.  Langa explains: the youth risks their lives, surfing on these metro trains, which results in many unfortunate casualties and claims a great number of lives”. Langa explains that the title choice? allows him to question the way people think, and what  the underplaying or dominant factors that populate public consciousness are.  He elaborates by saying: “One can always look at popular media, peer pressure and even the social influence and impact society has on individuals. Looking at the young man who is standing on top of a train risking his life the viewer must be able to question; was the choice really taken by him or were there various, different avenues of influence on his life that brought him to this position. The painting also shows a small child in a pram on a railway- because humans are social beings, therefore every person represented in this painting is as vulnerable as a child being pushed in the pram that will be growing up the same way – in society.”

Behind the contents (2012)

This oil painting of a figure in a park, surrounded by newspapers, represents the uncovering of the context behind the text. It deals with the various faces of reality.  Langa explains that “the title, Behind the contents, means looking beyond the cover, behind the index, beyond the contents page and into the real story. It goes beyond the ideologies society can build up, or the ideologies even the nation can build around them, and speaks of the truth behind the cover.”

The present (2012)

Painted with Oil on board, The Present depicts a translucent figure pushing a pram, with elements of fire and smoke shadowing the background. It plays on the double entendré of the word “present”. Langa explains: “This title has two meanings the “present”, a gift and the present tense. The child becomes the centre of the artwork. The women being behind the child having no identity, making the individual unimportant but can be seen as a metaphor for woman in general.

Fire is one of the elements in the painting, it is a very complex element that can be used to purify, warm up, and it also has a distractive property. If power was an important element in building our society it can be that its use or misuse leads to the presentation or destruction of our society.”

I was here (2012)

This creation mediated with pencil & pastel on board speaks of the omnipresence that we so long to have or always try to perceive. The artists describes that “I was here …” are words that are used by people to “mark their presence, to leave behind a mark”. The fly represents “the use of flight” and is symbolic to represent “what is there in society yet pushed aside in order to maintain a certain image”. The artist means that there are certain things in society that are overlooked to maintain the ideal presence and ideological stance.

Stepping_Stone exhibition on display in the Pretoria Art Museum till 28 October 2012

By Maryka Potgieter

Who is in the current position of ‘Hlafunya’(means to chow very hard) on the circumstances in South Africa? Is it the people holding onto the word of politicians promising them a better future or is it the politicians that feed on the people for their own gain? These are the type of situations Siphiwe Makgoka a 23year old artist from Soshanguwe looks at critically to achieve the level of creative social commentary in his artworks. By addressing current situations and issues within the political, social and economic fields of South Africa, Makgoka’s sculptural works are relevant and serious with a humoristic element attached to some of the pieces sculpted from cement and steel. The subjects addressed in Makgoka’s work makes his work open to a wide audience, because we all are influenced by the circumstances surrounding the behavior and decisions of these ‘anonymous’ politicians. Makgoka does not depict certain individuals in his works but the figures are representative of powerful demanding figures dressed in suits. With this anonymity the viewer are challenged by the work to attach their own thoughts and feelings towards what they see and the pieces creates awareness of Makgoka’s specific outlook.

Makgoka started his creativity at the age of 7, when he saw his older brother draw, but first it was merely drawings that contained copied images from his brother’s drawings. He soon learned the basic techniques of drawing and developed ever since on his own because art was not part of the education programme at his school. After matriculating, Makgoka enrolled for Fine and Applied Arts at Tshwane University of Technology in 2008, he is currently busy with his B-Tech in Fine Arts at the same institution.

The artworks included in the Stepping_Stone 2012 exhibition, Makgoka visually depicts an “X” throughout in different ways, the symbolic play of this mark is crucial because it is an element that links the people and politicians because through using the “X” when voting they direct their support/faith towards a certain party. The symbolic use of elements is just a way Makgoka is emphasizing this link and it supports the way the artworks achieve to confront the viewer ready to be interpreted by new views and opinions.

The mixed media (cement and wax figures) sculpture “Courtship” is the only piece that focuses on a body of people (politicians) rather than just a single figure, its addressing politicians as a body of commercial leaders and how they use the same techniques to gain the support of the people showing that they are all basically the same when they are in their comfort zone. The political figures are displayed in a suitcase, this suitcase Makgoka explains as being the promise land the politicians promise to the people in their long “Blah blah blah” (text on the paper that is placed in the suitcase) speeches.

Siphiwe Makgoka wants to achieve the creation of dialog between his artworks, views depicted and the viewer’s personal feelings and opinions towards these current situations in South Africa. The works are open for viewing till the 28th of October in the East Gallery of the Pretoria Art Museum.

By Eliz-Marie Schoonbee

Highly nostalgic on traditional Africa, Sinalithemba Ntuli’s work yearns for an evaluation on what he considers a contemporary society with a high loss in values and a culture threatened with demise.

The artist’s work seeks to illuminate the beauty of culture and especially the humanity possessed by the nation. He depicts in his work traditional ceremonies of rites of passage such as the Reed Dance performed by young girls as a symbol of growth and transition to womanhood.  His body of work places large focus on the young woman and her relationships and roles she has as a daughter and potential wife to wife, as well as the relationship she has with herself with regards to the manner in which she presents herself and upholding of values learnt from her parents.

Ntuli’s interest in drawing dates back to his days as a pupil of Boshkloof Intermediate Boarding School and escalated in 1992 when he took art as a subject at Escourt High School. From there on he has had countless involvements in the visual arts which include three years spent as a student at the Funda College in Soweto in 2002, an artist residency at the Bat Centre in Kwa-Zulu Natal, as well an invitation by John Room to work at the print studios of DUT (Durban University of Technology), amongst many others. He has a few group exhibition under his name as well as a collaborative exhibition at Moutachomb Golf estate in2005. He has had the privilege of a solo exhibition which was shown at two venues titled “My Heritage in Jabulani Soweto and Ferrarmere Benoni in 2010. In 2011, Ntuli was awarded a merit prize for painting at the Thami Nyele art competiton. Other honours under the artist’s name include a commissioned painting of Chief Albert Lithuli for the Chief Albert Lithuli Museum in Groutville and a mural portrait of Shaka for the Durban University of Technology.

His years of experience as a student and exhibiting artist have been a profound catalyst in the growth visible in his work. Ntuli’s latest works morphed from oil painting to beading. These beadwork paintings extend on the artist’s need to express of tradition and pay homage to the culture of the Swati.

Sinalithemba is currently a part of the Stepping_Stone group exhibition housed in the East Gallery at the Pretoria Art Museum, until the end of October 2012.

By Abongile Gwele

Using colour and line and a modern take on impressionism, the artist Nkhensani Rihlampfu creates a utopian space in his artworks that achieves a balance between the physical and spiritual realm. The 24 year old artist were raised and matriculated in Modimolle, he studied Fine and Applied Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology, which he completed with a B-Tech degree end of 2011. Rihlampfu works in a creative comfort with the technique of painting, printmaking and drawing, his featured artworks in the Stepping_Stone group exhibition are oil paintings and embossed prints on paper.

The works have a strong reverence to individualism as well as the relationship the artist has to the city living and working environment (society) surrounding him on a daily basis. Rihlampfu admits he finds it hard to detach his art-making from his daily life and surroundings, thus he uses city elements like people, figures, road signs and traffic lights continuously in his work. But yet these city elements are not just portrayed as we see them in their ‘natural’ city environment, Rihlampfu displaces these elements in unfamiliar landscapes creating that balance of the physical and spiritual that stems towards dreamlike, utopian spaces. The concept of the displaced are prominent in the oil paintings titled: Don’t be scared of me (2012), The descendants from Anak (2012)these works are part of the Stepping_Stone exhibition. He uses the short, rough and energetic brushstrokes to create form with colour but he does not isolate the colour-fields by increasing the use of lines in his work to help set the mood for portraying particular scenes.

What Rihlampfu achieves with his take on impressionism is to draw the viewer into the space he created on the canvas or paper through the use of subject, colour, line and light. The nineteenth-century Impressionists and Post-Impressionists like Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne are of major influence to Rihlampfu’s style and technique, but he draws upon ‘closer to home’ influences with regards to his concepts, from South African artists like William Kentridge, Leora Farber, Candice Dawn and Nelson Makamo. Rihlampfu did not have art as part of his education at school, thus he started the basics drawing skills and techniques at informal sessions with his artist-friend Nelson Makamo as well as mentorship with 74year old practicing artist Mr Willem Nezar (when Rihlampfu met him in 2005), the two gentlemen played a fatal role in 2007 and 2008 when Rihlampfu took upon the decision to start his studies in art to pave the way towards being a professional artist.

Exhibitions Nkhensani Rihlampfu has been part of over the years include:

  • ABSA L’Artlier
  • Black Like Me
  • Waterkloof Prepetory School
  • For Sale Project Exhibition 2011

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Stepping_Stone 2012 group exhibition on view in the Pretoria Art Museum (East Gallery) till 28 October 2012.

by Eliz-Marie Schoonbee

For Sanele Ngcai.
In the interview I had with Sanele Ngcai. I felt close with the things concerning him such as racial issues, gender and independence and personal issues as well.
And this is what Sanele Ngcai had to say in the interview we had on 30/05/2011.

1. At what age did you start drawing or pain?
 At age (6-7); and I was inspired by my brother.
2. So what did you first draw or paint; and did you like what you created at first?
 I was drawing portraits, from my imagination.
3. As a child were you exposed to art?
 1990 at the Pretoria Art Museum, and at Primary I did Art as a subject.
4. What’s your favorite medium, and why?
 Print making and oil, I like playing around with Primary colours and with print making. I like the way I can make lines and images.
5. Do you want to pursue Art as a career or a hobby?
 It’s my career, and it’s something I want to teach.
6. Did you ever exhibit before? If yes where.
 Kasi and Unisa in 2010.
7. What’s the message that you want to bring across with your work?
 I have different types of messages, and the present body of work is basic on racial and gender issues.

I can relate with the synopsis he made and issues he is facing. At first is the racial issues; people don’t know what race I am. And the smoking issues, I hate smoking, especially tobacco. And it’s pain to grow-up with one parent especial your mother.
By Tebogo Athanasius April

For Tshepang Dorian Mojalefa.
In the interview I had with Tshepang Dorian Mojalefa. And she briefed me with what kind of an artist she is.
And this is what Tshepang Dorian Majalefa had to say in the interview we had 05/06/2011.
This is what she had to say….
I realized I was a creative person at a very early age, since primary I’d say. I had fairy tale story book with cartoon characters inside, they inspired me to draw. I would trace them and so I developed with age; later started painting in high school. I did subjects like Technology and arts and culture at primary, where we drew, designed and in Technology actually made 3D objects with our hands. Then later I did art as a choice subject in high school. Yes as mentioned above I’d say it started in primary; but formally developed in high school.I love painting more than anything else, so I’d say oil on canvas or board. Oil paints are really practical and pleasurable to apply. They don’t dry quickly, giving you enough time to mix then with other colours and get the effect you want. After you’re done, the painting has a glossy look and it feels nice and smooth. I what to pursue art as a career. It is who and what I am. I believe this is one of my many talents God gave me, so it is my duty to carry it out fully and proudly. I’ve only ever exhibited on campus for evaluations, that’s the closed I’ve come to exhibiting ; I’d say about eight times a year for four years. The experience was also exciting and rewarding. Wow! What can I say, there’s a lot I want to say with my art.
I love psychology, the way the mind functions and how people behave, fascinates me. So I try tackling such issues and people reactions to these issues. I say “It’s not how you fall, but how you get up.’’ When life happens do you hang your boxing gloves and get out of the ring or do you step back, take a breather sip some water and continue fighting till you win? That’s a question everyone has to ask themselves and remember everything has a time and reason. If you can change things, then do so and move on. If you can’t change them, the better and faster you’ll be able to move on living.
This is the words of Tshepang Dorian Mojalefa.
From my point of view; the artwork background brought forward it’s a work brainstormed by the artist and the lecturer. And this artwork talks about networking, or family unity.
By Tebogo Athanasius April

For Tumisang Mokgadi.

In the interview I had with Tumisang Mokgadi. I realized that he’s more in memories, appreciating nature and things that surrounds him.

And this is what Tumisang Mokgadi had to say in the interview, we had on the 25/05/2011.

1. When did you know that, you’re a creative person?
 I was in primary (year 1996).
2. So what made you start drawing?
 I was just checking if I can draw, and I realized that I can.
3. And where did you have your exposed in the industry of arts?
 It all started at Mmabana cultural center, I attended classes for 6 months.
4. Did you ever learned art at an early age?
 I started art as a subject in grade 10 and grade 12 and I stayed home for one year but still drawing.
5. What’s your favourite medium?
 I love them all, but into drawing all mediums and painting oil and acrylic.
6. Do you want to make art a career or a hobby?
 Career.
7. Did you ever exhibit before?
 PPC art competition (young CS award).
 Sasol new signature art competition
8. What’s your massage you want to bring across?
 It’s more than life, and depiction that things change but they never change.

I simply try to capture those memories that make you feel like staying in that moment. I focus less on people and more on things we collectively share like nature, an old road, Sunny day, houses etc.

All in all I conclude that Tumisang Mokgadi is a personal art. That means he is an artist that, he experienced through his life and moments he had. And I believe that Tumisang Mokgadi appreciate nature, by capturing at specific moments. Tumisang Mokgadi told me that black students were not made known to events taking place at Art School competitions.

By Tebogo Athanasius April

Nkhensani Rihlampfu
The ‘light’ of rejection and acceptance
As we all find ourselves living in a society filled with different kind of individuals, the relationships we are situated in functions as key to ones life and survival in society. The 23rd year old artist, Nkhensani Rihlampfu, born in Limpopo and currently situated in Pretoria actively engages two points of view with the concept of relationships. This relationship that Rihlampfu engages with in his oil paintings, lends its focus towards the individual and society. The presence of doubt holds key to Rihlampfu’s work because one is unsure of the real relationship between the individual and society. The artist sheds light upon a familiar question: Are individuals shaped by society or does society relay on individuals to shape it? Rihlampfu answers this question by stating “there is a constant evolution between the two” and the result is either of rejection or acceptance of one another, with this the individuals and society is at a continuous transformation.
Rihlampfu succeeds in drawing the viewer into the space and focusing their attention on the strong use of colour and light, like nineteenth-century Impressionists. With the strong influence of both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh serve as wonderful inspiration to Rihlampfu. By practicing this known Impressionistic painting style, the viewer firstly identifies Rihlampfu’s bright use of colour and light as well as the painting technique consisting of short rough brush strokes each taking their own direction on the canvas and together creating fields of colour. One must note that Rihlampfu does not just copy the Impressionistic painting style exactly, as he explains that through his paintings he is trying to move beyond the Impressionist philosophy of the fact that an objects colour is defined by the way light is casted on to the object. He takes this philosophy as a metaphor by commenting on the possibilities, that society’s reflection onto individuals defines who they are as well as the individual reflections in society, defines society.
By not having art as part of his education at school, Rihlampfu gained valuable experience by learning basic drawing skills and techniques from his artist-friend Nelson Makamo as well as being mentored by the 74year old (when Rihlampfu met him in 2005) practicing artist Mr Willem Nezar from 2005 to 2007. Rihlampfu does not shy away from the fact that these two gentlemen played a fatal role in his decision to partake art as an career, as he struggled to decide on the path of his future in either sport or art. Due to the passion that was evoked in art making sessions with the gentleman, Rihlampfu enrolled as a student in Fine and Applied Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2008. Currently he is completing his B-Tech in Fine and Applied Arts while facilitating art workshops for the Pretoria Art Museum’s in-and-out-reach projects.
Reflecting on this relationship that occurs between the individual and society are evident in Rihlampfu’s work included in the For Sale Project Exhibition 2011. As specific the oil painting, Go prepare for your own winter season (2011), functions as a metaphor for the daily lives of persons. Rihlampfu depicts a line of shadow like figures, the figures represents the individuals in society marching to city like things that can be work, education or leisure related. Thus everyone is on the route to somewhere in the city, the perspective used by the artists the line of individuals are depicted in such a way that the viewer while standing in front of the painting forms part of the line. With this Rihlampfu lets the viewer engage with his work, by seeing oneself in the situation depicted, thus the questions ask can also confront the viewer directly. In the foreground of the work an individual depicted quit different from the darkly shadow figures are lying on the ground, thus the individual is seen different from the marching society. Rihlampfu asks what does one do when one encounters someone that is different from your own culture or form part of the outside of the society you daily engage with. Does one stop or continue on ones own path without even paying attention to the one ‘different’ from oneself? Thus it is up to the viewer next in line to answer and make the decision, because the figures that fore goes the viewer in the line depicted in the painting are just continuing on their own path towards the city.
City-like features like road signs, telephone lines (all signs of communication) are depicted in a “non-existing” place as Rihlampfu refers to the space depicted in the picture frame. The reason why it is revered to as a “non-existing” place is that there is no iconic signs or symbols that can be related to a specific place and can thus be anywhere, any place outside the city that are mostly dull fields of grass or veldt. By the use of this “non-existing” place Rihlampfu does not bind the individuals to a specific society that can be found in a specific city or place it refers to anyone anywhere. The artist sees these individuals that are focused on their own paths as working towards a better tomorrow to make their lives thus better before the winter reaches their lives again. This winter revered to is as metaphor for when ones circumstances is not too good, the impressionists also had their focus on depicting different seasons and times of day mostly to do with their light philosophy. Thus once again Rihlampfu takes the impressionists philosophy and applies it to the relationship between individuals and society.
Rihlampfu also considers drawing and printmaking as mediums he engages in, but because of the high costs related to printmaking it makes it difficult for artists to create such pieces on their own cost. As Rihlampfu often refers to pioneer artists as inspiration to reach the highest quality in his own works, the South African artist William Kentridge is as inspiration in the genre of printmaking.
By Eliz-Marie Schoonbee