Working together critical to success

The exhibition is currently showing at the Octagon National Museum PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The exhibition is currently showing at the Octagon National Museum PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

A group of eight Batswana fine artists have come up with a collaborative exhibition called Insights.

The exhibition, which is aimed at promoting collaboration between fellow visual artists is currently showing at the Octagon Gallery at the National Museum until April 14.

The artists are Mmoloki Matlale, Totang Motoloki, Gigi Malebang, Bezuba Kaunda, Moses Maaramele, Mothusi Tau, Andrew Matseba and Lesedi Motaung.

While many local artists participate in exhibitions organised by government and other private entities, the artists have gone all out to produce inspiring pieces and show that collaboration is the way to go in visual arts industry.

In an interview with Arts & Culture, one of the artists Motoloki said as much as Thapong Visual Arts Centre does well to organise exhibitions, many artists do not feature in such events.

 “We sat down to map progress especially artists who have been doing this for a while,” he said.

Motoloki said usually he comes up with artwork which in his view,  stands out from others hence no wonder he uses recycled materials to spice up his paintings.

“We view similar artwork everyday but sometimes we have to be creative so I have always developed this style of using old tins and other waste to beautify my work,” he revealed.

Motoloki said he likes paintings which depict every day life. He said his paintings were inspired by sculptures which come out.  He worked in preparation for the exhibition since last year. Motoloki also highlighted that  they would like to have more artists participating in the exhibition.

Another artist, Matlale who is also part of Insights exhibition said he participated in the event to work with other artists, get exposure and promote collaboration.

“I have now learnt that I have to work harder than before because as much as this is collaboration, this exhibition is also a competition,” he added.

Matlale was quick to say that he also managed to promote his wildlife concept and also sell his country’s tourism to the world.

The man who uses oil on canvas medium said in his Okavango Delta paintings he used dots.

“I believe I am the only artist in Botswana who is using this dotted technique,” he gladly expressed.  Matlale said he started the technique in 2014 and was inspired by the night sky.

“I got it from the tiny stars in the sky at night and the delta and landscapes help me to interpret this much better,” he said.

Matlale also revealed that he once worked for 60 days to finish an artwork. The work later won the best painting award at the President’s Day Competition in 2016.

He said currently his pace has improved and he could now take a week to finish a piece.

“I use a brush and mix different colours on my palette to come up with this dotted technique,” he further revealed.

Matlale said having worked with seasoned artists in the exhibition, he learnt a lot and he will continue to engage artists to improve his work.

Going forward, Matlale said he would collaborate more before he could start thinking about hosting a solo exhibition.

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