In August this year, actress Loretta Keabetswe Mekgwe was amongst the unfortunate staff members that did not survive the dreaded axe of retrenchment at the struggling Gabz FM radio station. Being laid off from work meant Mekgwe was thrown into an emotional dark space that nearly broke her mental strength.
It was in that dark space that she picked her brush, dusted it and dipped it into some black paint and started painting. It was like she remembered her middle name ‘Keabetswe’ which literally means, ‘I am gifted’.
Mekgwe recently showcased her artworks in a private exhibition titled ‘Keabetswe – A Leap Forward’ held at her Phakalane home in Gaborone.
Most of her artworks are abstract in bright contrasting hues. But there are a few distinct monochrome pieces that she said were the first pieces that she started to paint.
“My first piece, I started painting black all over it. I guess I was going
Her initial monochrome pieces are strained and almost show the hopelessness of the painter.
Her first piece that she said was initially all black is partially brushed and sprayed with white paint like she wanted to cover the black and return to the white canvas. On her later artworks she introduced some vivid reds, yellows, purples and greens in a medley of abstracts that catch the attention.