Titled isibengelelo: a Zulu word that means ‘a greeting, a voice for greeting or a greeting voice used when someone arrives’, is the name of the Springs Art Gallery’s latest exhibition.
In this exhibition, the featured work itself encapsulates ideas about artists trying to find their voices of expression. This colourful expressive exhibition takes a look at new works by two contemporary local artists, Siphiwe Fokazi and David Tsoka. This two-person exhibition includes paintings, sculptures and collages with diverse sources of inspiration ranging from abstract images and shapes inspired by domestic objects and taken for granted objects that furnish our world.
The two local artists live and work in Kwa-Thema; Siphiwe is largely a self-taught artist who has been honing his skills in collage and painting for the past few years. His evolution under collage allowed him to introduce other objects, sculptural elements to his art and extend the range of his artistic talent even further.
Throughout his artistic journey, Siphiwe has always been fascinated by images that represent a person’s identity, usually showing the face and how the world is represented through the eyes of others.
Explaining his current work, “My quest is in finding the essence of a person’s identity and balance outside all societal value systems. A person’s identity can easily be confused to what we see, which sets a tone in conclusion, whilst what we see is already in the past. Beliefs and emotions can shape some balance in a person and give a bit of light into a person’s identity.”
He was selected as one of the top 100 artists featured in the City’s Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards Competition in 2018 and his collage work – called ‘Yilungelo lakho’- was been exhibited in Johannesburg at the Stop Sign Gallery.
David loved art from the age of five and while in Grade 9 realized he enjoyed his art and crafts more than the other classes. David’s inspiration comes from artist Marco Ciamfanielli, explaining that he likes the way he uses ordinary objects and materials ,like steel and razor wire, to create images and public art. For example his Nelson Mandela Monumental sculpture portrait located near Howick, in KwaZulu Natal.
David studied Advanced Printmaking and Professional Development Practice at the Artist Proof Studio. He is a talented artist who specialises in creating impressive paintings and prints depicting both abstract and cubist forms. He enjoys tile work and painting on canvas and both mediums allow him to explore colour and technique and are limitless mediums. His work is visually bold and has high contrast to images, but also adds a sophisticated ambiance to any collection.
“A good artist can take any medium and see its potential and make it exciting and modern, a good artist sees beyond the basics of the medium they are being taught. I wish that as a student I had that insight. I am seeing a lot more lino printing in recent years than before. Students are use this print medium in exciting new ways, adding etching, monotypes, drawing, embroidery and more,” he says, reflecting on his past artistic experiences.
David has had group exhibitions at various institutions locally, including art competitions and fairs, commissions, featured in magazines, various publications, and a collaborative project with international Dutch-based fashion and art brand Rhumaa in 2018.
With this collaboration exhibition, the Springs Art Gallery (SAG) aims to raise public awareness of emerging visual artists by providing exhibition space and opportunity to meet artists and see their work at location in the City of Ekurhuleni. The exhibition is part of the gallery’s experimental solo and group series project idea, which focuses on launching new careers of emerging and promising artists. The project idea explores and illustrates creativity, thoughts and new ideas, and reveals the role of art in dealing with everyday life challenges. It is further aimed at contributing to the awareness, promotion, revival and enrichment of SAG as an art resource centre.
OPENING and FREE WORKSHOP
Isibengelelo opens on Saturday, 22 February, at the Shrings Art Gallery in Springs at 14h00 through to 31 March. As part of the exhibition, the artists will conduct a free hands-on workshop on collage process art on Saturday, 28 March, 08h00 – 12h00.
*** The art gallery, situated in the library building, cnr 5th Street and 6th Avenue, is open Monday through Friday, 09h00 – 16h00 and Saturdays 8h00 – 12h00 (Closed Sundays and public holidays).