Making anew from what is already known through thought provoking visual art is 22 year old emerging artist Thokozile Gumede from Port Elizabeth.
She takes inspiration from everyday people and situations to create her jarring contemporary art. This creative on the move shares her formative journey through the visual art world.
How do you define yourself as a visual artist and what inspired you to become one?
I define myself as someone who appreciates the mundane. Inspiration can come from anything and everything and that is the base of the work that I create. As a child, pre-primary and the foundation phase of school is centred around drawing and colouring, I loved drawing and seeing what I could make with what I have. I don’t want to say that I’ve been an artist forever. I just deeply enjoy art and creation. It’s in everything that we see and use, it has been a passion that is difficult to ignore or let go of for me.
What makes your art unique?
Good question. What sets me apart, or any artist apart, is that my experiences are unique to myself and allow me to create from what I’ve been through. Besides that, I see it as a thing of my art being unusual and letting people see what I see, creating images from things that the audience might have never thought would go together.
What creative projects are you currently working on?
I can’t let on too much about the collaborative works that I’m currently working on but I do have some exciting things to share in the future. In terms of personal projects, I’m working on a short series that I plan to release this year. Again, I don’t to say too much so I’d highly advise people follow me to see what I do.
What do you feel the next step should be for the contemporary art industry in South Africa?
There’s so much in our country and so much that is unseen. I think that the industry should give rise to the unknown and make more space for those working on the ground. This is a personal wish, but I would love to see what creatives could do outside the expectations of our creativity. What I mean by this is that I would like to see outside of the violent narrative. Yes, those stories are necessary and important but there is so much more to the South African experience than that.
What would you say to upcoming visual artists to inspire them?
Keep going. It’s advice that I struggle with myself but its best to keep doing what you do. Whether that means finding your style, your audience or even yourself – just keep going.
Follow Thokozile Gumede on:
Instagram: thoko.art & thokogumede