Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

The Portfolio: Mxolisi Dolla Sapeta

 

 

As a figurative artist, I use art to confront my inner conflicts as well as those of other people, randomly represented individuals in the urban context of New Brighton, where I live. I always try to speak about the human condition rather than the individual person.

My narratives are fragmented, characters and objects isolated and stripped down.

In 2016 I took a year-long sabbatical from art-making and did a creative writing Master’s course at Rhodes University — actually I’d been writing poetry since the 1990s. When I returned to my studio in 2017 I started on a creative process which I call deviation: to seek different interpretations and directions after each discovery.

This constant rearrangement is an attempt to express the profound duality in my own life. On one hand, an oppressive anonymity pervaded by bleak circumstances; on the other, a self-possession and ownership of my own plight.

I taught art at PE College between 2001 and 2007, and I continue to run art classes in the surrounding schools. If I get a suspicious reception from aloof teachers in broken schools, I resort to giving classes in my studio on weekends.

I always learn from the many smiling faces of the young people I encounter through teaching art. This feeds into everything — art, poetry, life itself. I respect these youths for making time for learning art through the complex and brutal realities of the township.

My first collection of poetry was published by Deep South in 2019, titled skeptical erections. In my paintings and poems, I like to dig beneath the surface of our social reflections and find what’s hidden behind the skirt of moral values. I continue to work every day in the middle of a vicious township. All my creative work has been developed here. There is a significant randomness here that is both violent and honest. I owe to this township every step back and forth of my creative work.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Mxolisi Dolla
Guest Author
Sapeta
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Life Esidimeni inquest postponed until August 30

The lawyer for the bereaved families argued that Dr Makgabo Manamela’s requests for postponements have a negative impact on the families of the deceased who seek closure

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

More top stories

How to apply for the Covid-19 R350 grant

Asylum seekers with valid permits and caregivers will now also be allowed to apply for the reinstituted social relief of distress grant

IEC publishes 27 October election date as required by law,...

A report by former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke opens the possibility of a postponement

Serame Taukobong appointed as Telkom’s chief executive designate

The telecommunication group’s current chief executive, Sipho Maseko, will step down at the end of June 2022

Zambia should commit to tackling toxic lead mine’s legacy

Residents of Kabwe have been poisoned for decades and now UN experts have called for an urgent clean-up
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×