Mmegi Online :: Artists unite to annex 'virgin territory'
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Last Updated
Friday 19 October 2018, 15:27 pm.
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Artists unite to annex 'virgin territory'

For the first time, local artists will combine their efforts to invade the country's tourism pivot town - Maun.
By Staff Writer Sun 21 Oct 2018, 07:01 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Artists unite to annex 'virgin territory'








Budding arts trio, gifted in different types of art, plot to take over Maun with their creations later in the year. The young talented minds consider the town a somewhat virgin territory in as far as taking an assortment of sketches for tourists. Fronted by Frank Mabotowe, whose individual exhibition last year was a huge success, the Gaborone-based artists are getting ready to take the tourist town by storm.

The fair will start off in Gaborone before being taken to Maun."We have lots of tourists in Maun who obviously want to return to their native countries with some piece that reminds them they were once in Botswana," Mabotowe told Arts and Culture. He is well aware that Maun is probably buzzing with works from other artists. But he believes his associates Fikile 'Tooshort' Mabula and sculptor Gosego Motlogelwa have marvellous works that can sell anywhere in the world. Mabula works mostly with ink, pencil and paint.

"I think he does things that are very relevant to street culture. And he is very determined about his work. He is somebody willing to grow as an artiste," Mabotowe says. Motlogelwa specialises in abstract art, using mostly wood and wire. "He's very experimental and it pays off for him.

I chose artists whose work is relevant; I do not just pick to increase the number of people," he said. The trio believe an exhibition in Maun is a platform that can be used to sell their works, as well as market themselves.

"A tourist can buy and then go and show a friend back home, who knows, they may also be interested. Most importantly, it's a platform that will broaden your contact base as an artist which is very important," he said.Mabula is equally excited about the upcoming event and believes more of such initiatives will grow the industry.

"We are struggling as artists; so it's important when we try to work together like this and share some ideas. It's beautiful; I appreciate art as a whole. It's really interesting for me."He describes himself as a portrait artist."My work of art is for the people, I keep their memories and make them last. That's why I always say my art is memorable."

He speaks glowingly of Mabotowe's work and says the 22-year-old has a bright future.He adds that they share a common goal - they all want to grow. Mabotowe also concurs, saying: "We all

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see this as a unique platform, there aren't many art galleries in Botswana, no exposure for visual arts and this is one of the effective ways to get our names out there."

The Gaborone exhibition is targeted at the youth. The trio want to show youngsters in the city that you can have fun through celebrating your God-given talent. "Instead of clubbing one can go to an art gallery and if I can make a difference in one young person's thinking and attitude through this exhibition I would have made a lot of progress," Mabotowe says.

He hails government for its positive attitude about art and says he hopes Batswana will grow to appreciate art. He plans to shoot a video of the Maun fair to upload on YouTube so that people can view it for free.Mabotowe will be buoyed by his successful maiden solo exhibition dubbed The Art of Painting - last year in August.

"The first exhibition did quite well in terms of growing my name and making me learn new things as an artiste.So, what I am working towards is a second step for me - I am moving forward." The maiden solo show was dedicated to his late mother. In fact, his work mostly celebrates women and he has previously shared the gloom of losing his mother when he was 13. He singles out art as one thing that helped him cope with the mind-numbing agony.He attributes his work to his relationship with his mother during his childhood.

Mabotowe dreams of seeing his work displayed in the world's most prestigious museums and being considered one of the most influential people in the art world in Botswana.One of his most captivating pieces thus far is Keletile. The idea behind it was to show the importance of patience in the area of relationships. His ability to use colours in a way that depicts true African beauty makes it outstanding. He prefers using acrylic on canvas, because it dries faster. Oil can take up to six months or a year but acrylic dries up instantly.

Mabotowe refers to his style of painting, as figurative-contemporary art otherwise known as Mona-Dilo.He has previously exhibited in most of the local exhibitions including the 2009-2011 Thapong Artist of the Year exhibitions. He also displayed his work at the Thapong members' exhibitions and also participated in the President's Day awards and local workshops.

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