Four visual artists collaborated to stage a two-week exhibition at the Thapong Visual Arts Centre. The quartet is made up of Tebogo Motswetla, Abednico Sechaba, Kelebogile Marope and Isaac Chibua. The exhibition on the theme “Open Spaces” opened its doors to the public last Thursday, May 19 and will end on May 30.
Although his works are in various mediums but for this exhibition he explained that it was more appropriate to make works that could be framed and hung on the wall. He uses the pieces which include ink drawings, paint and charcoal. “In the cases where I used collage, I also found materials and used them in unison with the drawn elements of the work. I studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts. I’ve been practicing as an artist for about 10 years now,” he said.
The young man said questions about the black body inspired him, especially how it is perceived and how black people interact with space. For the current exhibition, most of the works he is presenting are portraits of individuals he has encountered in various places and spaces. The large drawings are made with crushed charcoal, ink and transfer printing are his key pieces. He said they had a certain weight which he really appreciates.
He said the opening of the show was a big hit in many ways and a good reintroduction for him to the Botswana art scene. Fortunately, he added that they had a good number of sales, which is reassuring and a good sign of a growing appreciation for contemporary art in the country. Most of his work is figurative but on a concept note he focuses on issues of identity and the politics that come with it. “I have exhibited my work in several countries such as South Africa, Germany, Israel and China. Most recently, I exhibited on the Turbine Art Fair online program via Artsy.com.
I am not registered in a gallery, so sales are mainly done directly by contacting me via my Facebook page and my Instagram page. “Being based in Francistown can be challenging in terms of networking and finding quality art materials to get work done. Some of my main achievements were the two artist residencies in Israel and Germany where I was able to present internationally and work with other artists from all over the world,” he concluded.