Submitted by: Mpilo Makanya
Artist Mpilo Makanya reflects on his and fellow members of Amasosha Art Movement’s experience being part of the 2019 South African Red Bull Amaphiko Academy program, held in Royal KwaZulu Natal.
“Our studio for the duration of the Project was at Major Ndlovu’s house. His home was our residence. Nights were cold. Load Shedding would be a problem. We welcomed the Sunrise – children and elders alike, would visit; sharing a refreshed leaf of energy. Inspiration was readily found around us in the community, of South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Durban, Enanda, Mawoti,” He writes.
“Our residency was about solidity, it was against the idea that Art is elitist, that you only see high Art in galleries. Us working at Mawoti was in someway a coup against the restriction of skills. People engaged with us from start to completion. We would have conversations of liberation, and questioned the development of houses, along with the quality of our neighborhoods’ schools. Mawoti was a success, more than we could have imagined.”
For two weeks, members that include collage specialist Mondli Mbhele, multimedia artists Major Ndlovu and Mthobisi Maphumulo , visual artist Andile Maphumulo, and creative Nomusa Mtshali negotiated their way through mahogany wood; using sandpaper to refine varnished edges, before treating items of overlooked furniture to timeless pieces of Art. ‘Our thought process was guided by two dominant techniques in the field of Art. 1 – Collage, and 2 -Patterns.’ writes Makanya.
“We conceptualized collaged silhouettes of Rickshaw Drivers; layered patterns inspired by the rhythms of language, along with the eventful jaggedness of our local transportation system – glued, painted or hammered on the surface of polished mahogany wood. The re-representation of Iziqhaza (Zulu Ear Plugs) on coffee table surfaces, served the intent of making our African symbols more visual to the public. It was our first time customizing furniture. The result was a continued process of productivity.”
Amasosha Art Movement is a dynamic collective of 17 artists, of different disciplines, from Durban and it’s surrounding areas. Based at Ikomkhulu Art Space, the collective regularly hosts exhibitions ,film screenings and some performances.