Textile designer Odirile Khune explores self identity through fibre art.


Odirile Khune Motsiri is a textile design graduate and full time artist who creates mixed media fibre art that explores themes of identity. He shares his journey on the evolution of his mixed media works.

How do you define yourself as a visual artist and what inspired you to become one?

I am inspired by self identity of living inĀ  the contemporary culture of South Africa. Growing up in different towns in the Pretoria brought about my interest in the ethnicity of people, how we might be in the same area but how different our cultures are and how they define who we are. I address these issues in my work reflecting on self identity in contrast with others around me.

What makes your art unique?

The uniqueness of my work lies in the way I use collage and bricolage techniques to create abstract expressionistic portraits.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

My current series of work is titled ‘Sustainable Identity’ which reflects on past experiences as the thoughts and ideas that makes up who we are. This is done by means of upcycling fabric and other materials. The denim and other fibre are a representation of those passed experiences and ultimately bearing it as part of our identity hence the depiction of portraits composed of these collected items. I’m also busy with a couple of long term projects which involve producing soft sculptures which investigates how these collected materials communicate with each other when subjected to take a sculpture form.

What do you feel the next step should be for the art and entertainment industry in South Africa?

I think the visual art industry needs to put in place more active structures to interact with local upcoming artist and to build a viable community where corporate can meet with artist and can interact with each other in a more cohesive manner.

What would you say to upcoming visual artists to inspire them?

I would like to say to my fellow upcoming visual artists and those who are shying away from their gift is that you wouldn’t be given the dreams you have if you did not have it in you to archive those ideas. The secret is to not stop dreaming and believing in yourself.


Photography by Thomas Chauke

Follow Odirile on:

Instagram: o.Khune