VOICES FROM WITHIN

SOLO EXHIBITION

THEMBALETHU MANQUNYANA

27 January – 23 February 2022

Curated by Candice Berman

 

“After various attempts in coming up with an original visual voice that defines who I am, and while dabbling with all sorts of technical approaches; I decided to go through some Western texts dealing with analysis on artistic methods and historical schools like Neo Expressionism and Cubism.

Throughout my grappling with this unique voice. I knew I had to stay true to my African identity, hence I found solace in the energy of West African masks through Cubist elements and visual impact. My search for a voice always lead me outside, navigating for inspiration and resonance and back towards myself when attempting to initiate a common ground with these relevant allies as I remain informed by influences of other artists through my own interpretations and methods.

The vigorous navigations for a voice going back and forth is about spending time listening and looking at what other peoples say or do…particularly modern artists. For instance, I later took more interest on how artists like Jean Michel Basquiat and Blessing Ngobeni have narrowed the boundaries, painting outside of particular art schools as you cannot really pin them down to either Neo Expressionism or Cubism. These are the kind of artists that have led me into attempting to break free from everything while relating to all the above through my own devices in approach and interpretations. I am currently putting more emphasis on the images that are inspired by West African masks through multiplications of colours . These multiplication of colours attempt to articulate arrangement of character by undermining racist tendencies around issues of identities in portraiture. My art celebrates that lack of racial appeal that define the identities of my portraits.

THEMBALETHU MANQUNYANA INSTALLATION