Limpopo raised artist Khehla Chepape Makga-to is hosting his third solo art exhibition at the Michaelis Art Library from Sunday to 30 September.
A press statement provided by the artist informed that the exhibition, called “Mephaso – The Rituals”, follows from his two previous solo exhibitions, “Marikana: Truth, Probability & Paradox” (2013) and “Voices from the Koppie – Towards Speculative Realism” (2014).
“I am fascinated by the concepts of culture and tradition and my work examines the cultural associations thereof. The body of work comprising ‘Mephaso – The Rituals’ is inspired by the cultural and traditional customs of mourning, especially in connection to spiritual practices, in many of the African cultures, especially in South Africa. By referencing the Marikana Massacre, this exhibition serves as my continuous personal and social tribute to the fallen workers,” Makgato said.
Makgato was born in Kensington, Johannesburg and raised in Makotopong village, outside of Polokwane. He studied printmaking at Artist Proof Studio in Newtown (Johannesburg) and has participated in a number of community art projects and international art exchange programmes. He holds a Diploma in Media Practice with Journalism as a Major and is presently self-studying African art history, and theatre and drama practices.
Currently Makgato is an independent artist working from Assemblage Studios, and a freelance arts writer, contributing regular reviews for ARTsouthAFRICA magazine’s online and digital platforms. He also works as a Digital Intern at The MediaShop.
In 2010, Chepape initiated a community arts organisation called Samanthole Creative Projects, which aims to provide art skills, encourage reading of poetry and literature and motivate the youth in rural communities of Limpopo.
From 2010 to 2014, he prepared grant proposals and budgets and obtained funding from private donors for arts workshops in Ga-Mothiba near Polokwane, Thohoyandou in Venda, Kromhoek Ga-Makgato near Bochum and Bokgaga in Tzaneen.
He recruited young people from the respective communities and obtained support from the local community halls where the workshops were held. Makgato also led successful workshops and exhibitions of the resulting artworks. His long-term goal is to develop a sustainable arts education centre catering to rural youth.
He has established the Rhodes Park Library Children’s Book Club to encourage reading and writing in his community of Kensington. He meets with the children twice a month where he volunteers his services to help young ones from different sectors of the community to read stories and create art.
Chepape was one of two South African delegates and one of three SADC regional youth delegates to the 2012 Africa Utopia Youth Arts, Cultural and Olympia Festivals of the World at the Southbank Centre in London. He has participated in numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally (Johannesburg, Polokwane, Cape Town, Washington DC and London). His works appear in the collections of the American Embassy for South Africa, African Museum of Contemporary Art and Tracker, among other private collections
The Michaelis Art Library is situated on the corner of President and Sauer streets, Johannesburg and Makgato may be contacted on 072 673 4447 or [email protected] for further information.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN