Textile designer Odirile Khune explores self identity through fibre art.

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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 in  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.

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Photography by Thomas Chauke

Follow Odirile on:

Instagram: o.Khune

Filmmaker, Temitope Ajileye aka DirXTope on his craft and maintaining authenticity in storytelling.

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Popularly known by his signature ‘DirxTope’, Temitope Ajileye is a Pretoria based filmmaker who honors his West African roots in his craft. He shares the journey behind his mundane yet captivating storytelling with us.

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

Film for me is being a custodian of time and I am still in the process of defining my artform because each project comes with different expectation and challenges. If there is anything constant that I always want my work to embody is truth in the sense that I always try to tell stories in a very honest manner. Which means adding very little to a scene, a turning of light rather than turning on light. I simply just want my work to be mundane and hold an authentic feeling.

What makes your art unique?

Whether its perspective or style I always look for something that would stand out and appeal to anyone on a worldwide level spear heading my projects with an identity of cultures, borrowing from the Western Africa and South African elements to create
visuals makes my work unique because this are two parts of the continent that has formed my experience of art and humanity.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on several projects under my own production company that is self-funded varying from Documentary, Experimental films and Music videos which I share across my social media platforms and website.

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

Many people in South Africa are still marginalised to the extent that they feel that their stories and art do not matter, I look at how storytelling in a structured environment can help these stories to emerge. By telling their stories, marginalised South Africans can become part of the grand narrative of post-apartheid South Africa and filmmakers can tap into this rich vein of previously-unheard narratives. In encouraging storytelling, art and filmmaking in grassroots communities, we can also build a film culture and the kind of community filmmaking that I mentioned before, not to mention building audiences for South African stories. So it’s a win-win.

The biggest challenge we still yet to overcome is that filmmakers in South Africa chase

the ‘great South African film’ and international recognition, instead of concentrating on telling our own stories in our own unique way, and developing a South African aesthetic.

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

Don’t over think your ideas just do it, when you have something to show people you shorten the conversation and you increase your chances of being trusted as a creative so I simply say
“BE A DOER”

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Follow DirXTope on:

Instagram: dirxtope
Twitter: @dirxtope
Website: http://www.aserstudio.co.za/

Fumani Khumalo speaks on his journey and new series ‘Our Culture is Contagious’.

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Fumani Khumalo, is a Pretoria-born, Joburg-based artist. He predominately make use of charcoal and pastels as a medium to draw portraits of subjects and their daily conversations. We had the opportunity to get more insight into his work and creative journey. 

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

I’m a visual artist that seeks to represent different people that I encounter in my frequent travels. I seek to tell their stories and experiences in a way most people wouldn’t see. A way that they themselves might not also see.
From an early age I’ve always been intrigued by politics and social issues. I would often read books, watch documentaries and news as medium of information. It only made sense for me to use my talent to express and contribute my view about these relevant social issues.

What makes your art unique?

My art is informed by language. Which is interesting because I take a verbal dialogue and interpret it into a static visual format. It is said to acquire or know a second language is to have a second soul. It is actually quite interesting how language shapes our perception and experiences of the world. When we speak our vocal cords create vibrations which we send flying through the air as pressure waves. Over time we learned to use these vibrations to express and share our thoughts, feelings and ideas with others. In my art, I unravel the language and dialogue that people use as a means of communication and how that language creates an individual’s experience of the world that they live in. We invent our worlds using language and our exposure to language; whether limited or expanded, helps shape our perception and experience of the world.
My portraits are informed by the everyday interactions, travels and languages between ordinary subjects encountered in my frequent travels. Their eyes are often scratched out to show how their interpretation and experience of the world is not through what we see but our own understanding and knowledge of the world formed through our daily dialogues.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a new body of work titled Our Culture is Contagious. This body illustrates relatable instances where you find language and dialogue in creation. I want to show how ones perception of the world can be easily spread and influenced by the space they occupy, the people they occupy it with and the conversations shared that shape this perception.

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

The next step for the contemporary art industry I feel should be to open the art industry to those who are represented in the art itself. For a long time, art has been a medium that has been closed off from the public, the people represented in the art are not the same people viewing the art.

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

Keep drawing.

Follow Fumani on:

Instgram: fumani_khumalo

Twitter: fumani_khumalo

Facebook: Fumani

Website: http://www.fumanikhumalo.com

Odette Graskie shares emotional experiences and storytelling through drawings and immersive fabric installation artworks.

OM Graskie (8)Odette Graskie is a visual artist whose art aims to explore emotional experiences and storytelling. She aims to create work that celebrates humanity and the essence of being human, while facing everyday dilemmas such as grief and loss. Balancing this loss and making art about it is a process of healing, and focusing on the beauty of something beyond oneself becomes healing in itself. Her drawings and immersive installation artworks made with fabric are a fresh breath of air as you walk into a room. Her latest body of work, The Sorrows, is an exploration of the way that pain can sometimes be the only factor that reminds us that we are alive. We had the opportunity to learn a little more about her and her journey in the contemporary visual art industry.

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

I have always loved art. When I was a kid my mom had a book about 2000 visual artworks that changed the world and I always paged through it. Sometimes I think the actual decision to study art came down to the movie Pleasantville. One of the characters introduces painting to the black and white world of Pleasantville and they all are so moved by the painting that they are forever changed into colourful fully-rounded people. As an artist myself I feel like if I can have such an effect on one person’s mind in the slightest, that is a success. I want people to feel things that adulthood sometimes deny us like playfulness, joyfulness, or other times acknowledging our dark side, these are my favourite things to strive towards.

What makes your art unique?

I think I have a very emotional connection to my process, and when you work like that it is almost about transcribing a part of your being, or giving a piece of yourself to viewers. When artists trust their intuition, beautiful things can happen. My work consists of two parts – work on paper and installation. My installations are about making people pay attention. When they enter an installation space, it’s about their visceral reactions, how they actually put down their phone for a second and take part in something that’s beyond their everyday while also focussing on something very everyday – such as the experience of a memory or trauma that they don’t always want to acknowledge, or even just becoming playful and acknowledging their inner child. I’m still pretty new to the medium but I learn more every day. In terms of drawing, I like to focus on the people I interact with, or sometimes just pass in the streets. It’s my turn to pay attention. I capture something, whether it’s their overall impression, or a cute nose, or the way they set their mouths; and pay attention to people in a way that no stranger ever really does for them. It’s quite a learning experience, watching people for the two minutes it might take to jot down something about them. And then I go and put them in situations together, sometimes in a composition a kid from a restaurant will stare at a man from the grocery store, and in all likelihood they will never meet, but they are now linked by my artwork. I like playing with stories and how we tell ourselves things about others and ourselves.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

My fellow artist, Chrisel van der Merwe, and I have just opened a show we curated at the Project Space, in Victoria Yards, called Artybollocks! We were both interested in curatorship and started our own little collaboration called Bland and Boring. This is our first real show. Artybollocks! is a show about the online artist statement generator http://www.artybollocks.com. We asked 27 artists to create work based on a randomly generated artist statement, and this show is a culmination of that. It’s been very eye opening to hear about the artists’ experiences during the  show (we both also made a work). The show runs until 15 May.

Other than that, I have a few group shows coming up and am working on a new body of work which is quite a challenge for me. I’m very excited about where it’s going, but I don’t really know how to talk about it yet.
Group shows coming up: Bag Factory Salon, Jan Celliers Fund Raiser, En-Trance at Ellis House with the Dead Bunny Society. I’m possibly working on a duo show with Olivia Botha soon, which will incorporate a theatrical aspect written by Lara Lourens.

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

South Africa is so vibrant, there is so much excitement going on. I think one of our biggest issues is aligning buyers’ views with our own contemporary vision. At the end of the day, most buyers want something they can live with in their home, preferably on the wall. It limits the lengths that artists can make a lot, especially young artists. I think a lot of people find themselves bowing to the pressures of making something sellable just to survive, which is fine, but limits our goals. There isn’t enough investment for us to grow in that sense yet. I don’t have enough experience on how to change that, though. (I think it often comes down to education and brewing a love for art in all citizens). I’d also love to see Joburg (or South Africa) getting a biennale again. The southern hemisphere is starting to make its name in a contemporary way, so much is happening all over Africa. It’s a great time to be from Africa!
Personally I’m also very invested in other emerging artists, specially female artists. I think women in Africa are playing a big role in shaping the vision of African art.

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

Be yourself, don’t make the art you think people want you to make. There is only one you, so make whatever your soul inspires you to make – it’s much more important to be honest with yourself in that way. Eventually you’ll find a language you want to share with others. Also, I think putting yourself out there and taking chances is vital, don’t wait around for opportunity to come your way. Make opportunity happen for yourself and be professional.

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Follow Odette on:

Instagram – @ohdette

www.odettegraskie.com

Ofentse Seshabela reflects on the complex history of South Africa in his body of work.

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Ofentse Seshabela is a Visual Artist who aims to reflect on the complex history of South Africa and the world and how it is perceived in present day. His provocative imagery and clear political commentary is captivating and sought after in the contemporary art world. This creative on the move has exhibited in prominent galleries in Johannesburg and Cape Town, including the FNB Art Fair. Here’s more on his journey through the visual arts.

How do you define yourself as a Visual Artist and what inspired you to become one? 

I define myself as a visual artist that is constantly engaged with visual creativity. Whether it be myself drawing, painting, or frequently visiting the gallery or even browsing through an art magazine. I would say art informs a big chunk of my life. The process of creativity is constantly flowing in me and I try to consistently be in that state. I believe I’ve always been an artist, from a young age. I don’t think there was a particular transition that took place where I started considering myself as an “artist”, however, when my craft started getting better and better in high school, I guess that also inspired me to do more and continue honing in on my talents.

What makes your art unique? 

For one the primary medium that I use makes my art unique. I mainly use smoke in my drawings. I also do not like beating around the bush regarding my subject matter, so I depict images how I imagine them to be in my head. Most would say it’s quite literal but I believe in being straightforward about what I want to express.

What creative projects are you currently working on? 

I’m currently drawing and gathering content and research that would contribute into a bigger body of work which will form part of my solo show sometime this year, if not early next year. I have also enrolled at University of Johannesburg to finish off my art qualification of which I had taken a break from in 2018.

What do you think the next step should be for the South African visual art industry? 

I feel like the visual arts is currently privatized in SA. I would like to see the industry more accessible to people who are not informed about the industry. I have seen so much great raw talent outside of the industry but most do not know how to go about progressing their talents to build themselves a sustainable livelihood from it. It would be really great to reach out to communities that cannot  access the art world. I would also love to see us working on the development of visual artists from foundation phase. I think it is important to inform and educate young kids of the fundamentals of visual art, and how it can really be taken as a career. In essence, I would like art to be taken seriously from a very young age. Government and corporate entities should engage and fund the industry more to see that artists grow and are able to compete on the global market.

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

I would say the same thing I’ve heard from people that inspire me in my journey, believe in yourself, keep striving for more and always fight to evolve and grow yourself creatively and mentally. Failure and fear do not exist, it is just an opportunity to try again and do better.

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Follow Ofentse Seshabela on

Instagram: Ofentse_lord

Facebook: Ofentse Seshabela Art

 

Space Save Logic set to release new project ‘SPACEGOD 2’.

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Space Save Logic has announced that his brand-new project, SPACEGOD 2 is being released on the 15th of February 2019, and the pre-order on the 8th of February 2019. The project will be available to stream across digitalp latforms.

The lead single Hit Me Up WAS produced, written and recorded in 2016 by Space SaveLogic himself. He says that, that was around the time he started working on the PROJECT.

“SPACEGOD 2 is a project that I have been working on for the past 3 years, its BASICALLY inspired by my hometown Mamelodi, where I’m from. There is a lot going on in THE township, you either become an inspiration or just another person in the hood. I DROPPED SPACEGOD in September 2015 and everything that was recorded after that was JUST everything I was going through for the past three years and that is also the time I WAS testing my production skills. I feel like with SPACEGOD 2 my production skills have
improved. The project showcases my abilities and creativity.”

Space Save Logic produced eight out-of-nine-tracks from his project.

“SPACEGOD 2 COMING OUT SOON!”

Pre-order SPACEGOD 2 on the 8th of FEBRUARY.

‘SPACEGOD 2′ TRACK LIST.

1. DILO THLAKANA
2. MADE IT OUT
3. TRENCHES feat. 25k
4. OPTIONS
5. STORY SA SPACE
6. RELATE feat. DEEP$
7. TOO LATE
8. LOVE IT OR NOT feat. TTGO
9. HIT ME UP

Connect with Space Save LOGIC ON:
Twitter |Instagram | Facebook

Jae Kae ready to fly high.

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Jae Kae is a 20 year old musician who is ready to fly high with her debut single release. Her genuine love for music transcends through her relatable content making her every girl’s best friend. Here’s Jae Kae’s thoughts on her musical journey and new projects.

“I make what I feel, I believe that my music is definitely relatable. What inspired me is how my life used to go downhill and music was always a saviour so I stuck by it and realised my unconditional and genuine love for it since then.

I am not limited to strictly a specific genre, I’m versatile. That definitely makes me different.

My first single ‘Fly High’ just dropped on SoundCloud and I’m now working on an EP consisting of 8 songs.

We definitely need massive annual platforms for upcoming artists to showcase their craft,that would really take our art to the next level.

I’d encourage fellow upcoming artists to keep pushing, someone is watching and you’re closer to your goal than you think.” – Jae Kae

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Download Jae Kae –  Fly High ft That-Ego (Prod. by Dee).

Instagram : _jae.kae
Facebook : Jae Kae
Twitter : @HunadiJeannette

Thokozile Gumede making anew of what is known with thought provoking contemporary art.

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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.

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Follow Thokozile Gumede on:

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Instagram: thoko.art & thokogumede
Twitter: @thokogum

Ncamisa Nqana on her upcoming single ‘Melodi Ya Dinonyana’.

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Ncamisa Nqana is a performing artist, vocalist and songwriter. This song bird’s voice takes you through a spiritual journey of musical storytelling every time she stands up to sing. Find out a little more about Ncamisa Nqana and what keeps her focused on her dream.

“I am a performing artist, a vocalist, backing vocalist, songwriter, bandleader, arranger and vocal coach. I was inspired to become a musician because I’ve always had music all around me. I come from a musical family where my Grandmother used to tour around the world through Choral Choirs, my mom is a composer, my father appreciates music, my sister is a guitarist. Singing is second nature to my family, at home or at family gatherings.

My music is unique because it travels from the past, present to the future. It is about conveying familiar situations of our lives through a particular style of music and most importantly it touches the heart.

I am releasing my single this year called ‘MELODI YA DINONYANA’ and launching the single on the 4th of April 2019. I offer private vocal lessons at Vocal Clinic as I am the founding member. I am selling an accessory range from BirdWorks. I’ve also formed a band called ‘Senzangakhona’ alongside Izah Kutsh and Bongani Mtshweni(The Beatboxologist). You can also expect to see me performing at the Ghana Awards 2019, I’ll also be part of the Freedom The Musical production, that will be playing at The South African State Theatre from April to June 2019.

I think the music industry should aim to make all platforms accessible to every artist. Learn to accommodate every genre equally by focusing on making artists empowere through entrepreneurship. That’s how they will get what is due to them. Artists shoukd be more well taken care of too, start implementing benefits for registered artist such as subsidised medical aid.

I encourage all upcoming artists to remember that this is their journey alone. Know who you are and where you come from. Do what resonates within you. Know your worth. Nothing is impossible. Be patient and persevere. Every little thing that you are investing in your career will eventually get you to where you are supposed to be. Pray, fast and work hard.” Ncamisa Nqana

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Follow Ncamisa on:

Facebook: Ncamisa (Page)
Sound Cloud : Ncamisa Nqana
YouTube: Ncamisa Nqana
Instagram: @ncamisanqana

Vuzu Hustle rapper, TTGO, returns from hiatus with Debut album “The Lifestylion”.

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After a year long spiritual hiatus, the Pretoria native is ready to arm his supporters with ammunition
to fight off the critics in the heated debate on whether TTGO has a place within the spectrum of South African Hip Hop. Partnering with independent record label, RAD Music, the album campaign begins with the title song “Lifestylion” – set for release on all digital platforms January 18th 2019.
The song incapsulates a nostalgic tone as TTGO refers to remembering a simpler time in his own life and for South Africa when songs like “sika lekhekhe” by Arthur Mafokate was the theme music for the everyday South African. He also points out that although times were tough during those days, all green pastures start out as rough terrain with the line “It wasn’t that bad, Monatè o thoma bo slegè”. The 11 track album is set to arrive March 1st 2019.

For more information or to schedule an interview contact Setshaba Phalane on 062 826 7378.