Artist Synopsis

My artistic practice involves me taking a psychological and spiritual journey back into my past to learn more about my status in society, how I can contribute and how people before me have contributed, regardless of their disadvantages and flaws.

Through my work I create to learn more about myself and the world I live in. I seek answers from my work, although usually the questions that I set out to answer only find more questions. My work is inspired by the desire to learn, discover and explore. My process begins with thought through meditation, I follow a routine in my studio which starts by burning imphepo (smudge stick) to bring back images I dreamed of accompanied by music, readings and writings before it begins to take form as a visual project. I follow an idea or concept where it leads me, and often end up somewhere quite unexpected. My work is a therapeutic way of dealing with the issues it focuses on and it aims to give the audience my perspective and some comfort in those who experienced similar situations and beyond.

My journey has lead me to do more research about Africa and its people. I’ve always liked to show human emotions in life situations through my work. It reflects on the outer image and the inner image of myself. I go beyond the surface to try and find my own identity and question my everyday existence. I question what it is that makes us who we are.

My portraiture practice is stylistically and structurally experimental, stemming from a desire to invoke the spirits deep within, those of our forefathers, as a means to seek peace and ask for guidance rooted in African knowledge systems. I have discovered that in order to move forward one needs to engage the past, to deal with it if you’re going to shape a future that reflects you.

Hence my ongoing series, which I call The Middle Passage Revisited, gives credit to Tom Feelings, who narrated the African Story of “The Middle Passage”. It investigates Africans and situations our ancestors endured when they were viciously uprooted from their homes and taken by European slave ships on the hideous sea journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Drawing inspiration from the colours of African culture the 'African Geometry' throughout my work is as a reflection of my personal journey. Green represents the rich vegetation of Africa; yellow represents the minerals in Africa like bronze, silver and gold; black and blue represent the middle passage which is the journey I'm revisiting currently now; white represents a bright future; and red represents the blood of our ancestors that spilled on African soil. My portraiture work explores this a bit further with contemporary taste, fashion and ways of living by African people.

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