Connect with us

Creative Outlet

Impressionism – Lessons in Art History By Ntuthuko Mpofu

The significant art movement which had an influence on other movements was impressionism, which is deemed to have the emphasis it places on any human’s ability to perceive the world and the truth.

Published

on

Impressionism - Lessons in Art History By Ntuthuko Mpofu Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Impressionism
70 / 100

Impressionism – a 19th-century art movement characterised by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.

wikipedia

The Significance of Impressionism

We are about to explore more than just art history or an art movement; this is an engagement about the influence of a movement. Every time people ask me questions like “Why is art expensive?”, in response, I get to say, “Do you understand the evolution or innovation of material and techniques used?” Let’s take one of your old photographs for instance, can you analyse a few things about it; What does that image mean? if you can’t answer that, it means you are in the right place where you will get to find answers to such questions. .One reader told me that at least they know about the material used in painting, but they were looking forward to learning what paintings mean.

It’s been a year since Covid-19 broke out, and the pandemic has changed it all. We may have lost our loved ones, but let’s continue to stay safe while waiting for the next trend in our lifetime. Everyone is faced with challenges; if you are doing well, it’s most likely because you were able to transform to digital platforms to conduct your business. The established, emerging artists, art galleries, blockchain-based art markets and art funds codex have been affected heavily, but I am sure like any business, they’re all trying to move to the digital space.

Impressionism - Lessons in Art History By Ntuthuko Mpofu Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Impressionism

The significant art movement which had an influence on other movements was impressionism, which is deemed to have the emphasis it places on any human’s ability to perceive the world and the truth. The emphasis shifted to the human act of perception itself, its mechanics and motives, and away from preconceived ideas of what was worth perceiving. People will reject you, not knowing that they’re actually opening great avenues for you; this led to the great movement which today we say played a huge role in the art scene.

Claude Monet was the founder of impressionism, but his work was refused by society because he did not follow certain rules. In the modern age, a gallery will sign an artist thinking that they will make money from him or her; that was Monet when they rejected his work. Impressionism in France then began a new chapter, on a path we are still on today. That is the best way to define its significance in this day. Impression developed in France in the nineteenth century and is based on the practice of painting outdoors and spontaneously ‘on the spot’, rather than in a studio from sketches, as defined by Tate.

Impressionism - Lessons in Art History By Ntuthuko Mpofu Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Impressionism

The main impressionist subjects were landscapes and scenes of everyday life. Art imparts its perspective to everyday reality. Art inspires, so the normalcy of artworks should be an inspiration to something.
Impressionism coalesced in the 1860s when a group of painters including Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Pierre-Auguste Renoir pursued plein air painting together.

American John Rand never joined their ranks as a preeminent artist, but as a painter living in London. Over time, other artists joined in the practice, and their exploration together moved from indoor studios to outdoor cafes, with regular get-togethers to discuss their ideas. There are a lot of artists doing this in malls in South Africa; Sanusi Olatunji is a great artist who practiced his work at the Union Buildings.

Eve Corrigan minored in Art History in College, specifically focused on Impressionism because when the French impressionists started painting in the early 1800s, they were creating a radically new style and approach to art; painting many different colors to create a unified ‘impression’ of what they saw, especially to convey how light affected the image. They typically used broad brushstrokes, painting complementary colors next to each other while still wet, to create an image of softer focus, and to emphasize the placement of colors as integral to the whole; this also focused on the importance of colors over line in the painting’s creation; the majority of such works use noticeable brushstrokes, some to the point of appearing sketch-like.

Impressionism - Lessons in Art History By Ntuthuko Mpofu Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Impressionism

Many artists worked in ‘plein-air’, especially at sunrises and sunsets, and used these techniques to effectively convey the immediacy of the work. This was a departure from the previously established practice of painting inside a studio. Some major impressionists (including those who rejected the term) were Paul Cézanne. I think the significance of impressionism in Western Art is that it freed art to more fully express human thought, feeling, and experience. Today, art does the same more fully, with more artists expressing their feelings. In a conversation with Vusi Mbulali on this topic, his view was that “Expressionism added to realism would be the best definition for impressionism.” Monet said, “I wish I had been born blind and suddenly was given sight.

Impressionism - Lessons in Art History By Ntuthuko Mpofu Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Shadow King, Vusi Mbulali

Connect with Ntuthuko:

Facebook: Ntuthuko Mpofu

Twitter: @ntuthukompofu

Instagram: iam_ntuthuko

Art

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume

Published

on

By

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume Asante Afrika Magazine
61 / 100

I am sure we all can agree that the beginning of the year 2020 was a rude awakening wrapped in a global event for the books due to the Covid19 pandemic. Zimbabwean sculptor slash Lawyer, David Chengetai Ngwerume, took to his creative outlet to not only process but provide a map for future generations in the form of his work, ‘The COVID-19 Pandemic Collection’ that has taken the world by storm.

According to Ngwerume, art “…is a duty and calling…”

The 40-year old’s sculpting journey started in the humble communal lands of Musana in 1995 under the instruction of revered fellow sculptor Cosmas Muchenje. He continued to excel in his academic studies as well which led him to an LLB (Bachelor of Laws, Honours) in 2006 from the University of Zimbabwe.  

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume Asante Afrika Magazine
One of Ngwerume’s pieces

According to Ngwerume, “Art is a duty and calling that I persistently continue using various forms mainly in Stone Sculpture in invoking thought into Humanity, share awareness with the contemptuous world.” Ngwerume’s sculptures have been exhibited all over the world from Hong Kong (China), Canada to the United States of America, and locally in Zimbabwe at the Hebert Chitepo Memorial. 

“My ambitions are global so I am in for it; it’s not always about where you are but where you are going.”

The sculptor’s ‘The COVID-19 Pandemic Collection’ comprises of pieces such as ‘MJ’ inspired by the pop icon Michael Jackson, encouraging people to mask up and get vaccinated. Another piece in the collection is called, ‘We are Torn’ which encourages people to sneeze into their elbows.

He is currently working on two other collections:

  • ‘Thy Next World Collection’ which addresses concerns pertaining to humanity as we move into the future;
  • And ‘Taking the Reins Collection’ which looks at the advancement of the world through the relationship between people and horses and their loyalty to humanity.

Ngwerume’s art is a reflection of the times and he is not stopping any time soon. He is also responsible for the iconic ‘Scales of Justice’ sculptures situated in front of the High Court in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare and the second capital, Bulawayo. We got to chat with the sculptor.

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume Asante Afrika Magazine
  • The first question is probably something you get a lot, but I just have to ask; how did you manage to find yourself in the world of law and sculpting? To us laymen, the fields look so vastly different.

I am a hard worker and I believe staying in work in both professions has made me invincible. The modern-day world is driven by skill and knowledge and it is acquired by putting in more effort.

“As a creative I also can tell you inspiration is everywhere, everyday life is filled with endless sources of influence.”

  • Have you ever found yourself in a position to choose between the two (law and sculpting) or a situation where one had to suffer for the benefit of the other?

Never! My ambition has always been to do more and I believe amongst the many I do I can manage both. If anything my professions feed off each other in a way.

  • What is the intention of your art?

To influence change in this world and make it a better place through various mediums from Stone Sculpture, paintings, installations and various other mediums in portraying contemporary messages that invoke thoughts into humanity towards shaping their moment in times and make this world move towards positive thinking. 

  • In a past article, it is mentioned that you draw inspiration from your experience practising law; can you remember the first case that inspired an exhibit? Why did you find the case worthy of being your muse?

The first case I got inspired by was a Domestic Violence case. It motivated me to do a painting titled, WOMEN – STRUGGLE from the CRADLE. It was the extent of damage this particular domestic abuse case had inflicted on those involved that moved me to create.

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume Asante Afrika Magazine
Ngwerume with more of his work.
  • In another article it is mentioned that you mostly use serpentine stone, why is that?

I use various types of stones in my sculpting, like Spring stone, Opal, Lepidolite and Granite. It all depends on the message I intend to portray.

  • Would you say you have any sculptors who either they personally or their work influences your work?

I am inspired by many sculptors like Michael Angelo, Gustav Vigeland and Dominic Benhura to name a few. As a creative I also can tell you inspiration is everywhere, everyday life is filled with endless sources of influence.

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume Asante Afrika Magazine
  • Sculpting isn’t really popular in Zimbabwe, how can you say the sculpting scene is in Zimbabwe? Is there a support structure from fellow sculptors or it’s more of finding your own way?

Zimbabwe in a nutshell is about finding your way, but the upside of today’s world is that it’s a global village. In this global village, if you do your best, the world will always notice. My ambitions are global so I am in for it; it’s not always about where you are but where you are going.

  • Could you please try explaining to us the creative journey you took in creating your popular COVID 19 Gallery?

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a global event affecting us all, and as an artist, I found it prudent to play my part in capturing the moments and share my views on Awareness and Vaccination.

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume Asante Afrika Magazine
Ngwerume’s piece ‘MJ’
  • In making the exhibit MJ, how did you hone in on making the sculpture about the U.S pop star Michael Jackson?

MJ was the first public figure to move around wearing a mask, and his actions were early warnings of our reality, where the air we breathe is not safe as before because of COVID-19. His messages then were foretelling.

  • According to New York-based art dealer Shingirai Mafara, your pieces are going to be part of the United Nations World Health Organisation permanent collection. Such an achievement, congratulations! How does knowing your work will live on long after you are gone feel? One could call it time travel of sorts, conversing with future generations.

I believe art is a reflection of perception and I am grateful for such higher strides being attained through my ingenuity. It is humbling to know that my work will inform, maybe even inspire future generations all over the world.

  • How has it been coming into contact with big art dealers like Shingirai Mafara and do you think that has or will affect your style or subject matter moving forward?

Such dealers inspire my work and further my will to create and give me higher hopes that my art will be seen globally.

Mirroring The Times In Sculpture With David Ngwerume Asante Afrika Magazine
Ngwerume’s piece, ‘Halt Child Marriages’
  • Your most recent exhibit, “Halt Child Marriages” is definitely one for the times. As a man, where do you think the root problem lies in Zimbabwe’s child-bride pandemic?   

The issue when it comes to child marriages is pure ugly GREED. The greediness in those men is uncalled for, it’s dirty, it’s illegal and it is immoral to view the young Girl Child as an object. We need to right such wrongs, and I am more than happy to lend my artistry to the cause.

(All pictures used are courtesy of David Ngwerume’s Facebook)

Interviewed by Hazel Lifa

hazel@asanteafrika.net

Continue Reading

Creative Outlet

Serge Doamba – Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability

My dream is to sell my art in other countries, especially in the US, but I have not found a way to do that yet.

Published

on

By

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art
11 / 100

Kiswendsida Serge Doamba is a deaf artist and art teacher in Dakar, Senegal. Serge, as he is fondly known, was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Born deaf, he was his parent’s second child, after his older sister had passed away as a baby. Later in his childhood, he bacame sick for some time around age 2 with a high fever, and he was unable to walk for a time. Says the talented artist, “When I got sick, my parents went to church and talked with the pastor, and I was healed. After I was healed, I began going to the school for the deaf in Ouagadougou, where I continued until the middle school level.” The humble, kind and jovial art teacher says that he really did not like school, and all he wanted to do was to draw.

Through the assistance of Angela Bednarczyk, Serge’s colleague, who was kind enough to translate sign language for us, we were honoured to be able to interview the inspiring young artist and teacher. Read on to learn more about Serge and his art.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba
Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art

You discovered your love for art at a young age, were your parents supportive of your passion?

Around age 7, I saw an older friend of mine drawing. I wanted to do the same. I realized that all I wanted to do was draw. I only had a pencil and paper, but I drew faces, cars, and other things in my world. Pastor Maxime, a friend of my parents, saw my artwork and he thought it was very good, as did my parents. They encouraged me a lot with my artwork.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art

“Being deaf, the visual aspect is so very essential, and so, teaching the students how to express their thoughts and feelings in their art is very important.”

Did you study art at school?

I did a lot of drawing while I was in school, and showed my art to my teachers who encouraged me, but I did not have any formal art instruction during those years at the school for the deaf.

What did you do when you completed school, and what kind of art did you specialise in at that stage?

In 2007, I traveled to Senegal with Pastor Maxime and his family. I thought I was there for just a 3-month visit, but Pastor Maxime thought I should stay in Senegal, and he found me an apprenticeship with Aziz, a Senegalese artist who did artwork with gourds. I began to work with him and learned how to clean, prepare and decorate gourds. He could see that I was a good artist.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Gourd Art

What inspired your move to Dakar, Senegal?

In 2009 I met Mrs. Jane Penney, who encouraged me to come to Dakar and work at Ecole Renaissance des Sourds (ERS). I began at the school as an assistant teacher. I was very excited to be in a school for the deaf, and to be given the opportunity to teach and encourage the young students.

Did you always dream of becoming an art teacher?

I dreamed of going to a university where I could study art. I did not think about being an art teacher at that time. When I first came to ERS, I only thought about teaching the children, but after a few years,
we decided to have professional activities, and art was one of those – so I was able to begin to teach art. I was helped in this teaching by Susan Roese who was an art teacher in the US, and who came to work with us for a few months at a time. Then when I was in the US myself, and worked with different artists, I learned more and more about different types of art, and shared that with my students.

What do you enjoy the most about teaching art?

I love to work with deaf children and teach them how to express themselves through art. Being deaf, the visual aspect is so very essential, and so teaching the students how to express their thoughts and feelings in their art is very important. I want to expose them to many different artistic techniques, and the use of many different materials.

You specialize in gourds and acrylics. Can you tell us what interests you the most about the art that you specialize in, and what made you choose to do it?

My top interest is now in painting using acrylics. Painting caught my fancy when I was in the US, that is what I am really enjoying now. I have been able to try out different techniques with acrylics, and to develop a certain style of art. I like all of the things that I can do with acrylic paints.

I continue to do quite a bit of work with gourds. I very much enjoy the prospect of creating something out of each gourd that I purchase. Maybe it will become a lamp that sits on a table, or one that hangs from a metal frame. I use different types of tools to make holes and designs in the gourds. I also place glass beads in the holes, making very beautiful designs, especially when a light is placed inside.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art
Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Gourd Art
Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Gourd Art

The third thing that I like to do is printmaking. While in the US, I worked with a printmaker, and she was very encouraging. She provided me with all of the materials to create prints, but then asked me to plan my prints on my own, without her assistance. I have continued to create a variety of prints which are very popular.

In 2015 while you were in the United States you worked with 7 other artists. Can you tell us about that experience? What did you learn from it and what did you enjoy the most about it?

The artists included those who taught me about drawing portraits, drawing with perspective, painting Chinese water colors, acrylics with a palate knife, print-making, clay sculpture, and batik. I enjoyed working with each artist, and learning all of the techniques that they utilized in their art. Part of my art instruction was with Sue Hand and Michael Hiscox at Sue’s studio, where I saw so many different pieces of art, and especially Sue’s art, as she is a fantastic painter. I just wanted to work on canvas and use acrylic paints. That was the most significant thing for me.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art

My world was expanded when I visited the US. I saw trees and forests like I had never seen before, I visited the museums of Washington DC, and saw deaf friends in New York City. I went to a church for the deaf, saw Gallaudet University,  which is a federally chartered private university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing located in Washington, D.C., and visited the elementary school there. I saw that many people knew sign language and could communicate with me. I also saw completely captioned TV – one of the many ways that deaf people are helped in the US.

Also, seeing God’s creation, especially Niagara Falls, was one of the highlights of my trip. The falls never stop – the water just continues, and I was really amazed to see that. I loved the forests and the mountains, and all of the beautiful plants that I saw there.

Have you participated in any major exhibitions, and what has been the highlight of your career thus far?

For the past two years, women from the Dakar Women’s Group have selected my paintings to be in their exhibition and sale. That has been so very exciting to see my artwork shown and sold. I have also been able to sell my art at different places in Dakar – at an international school’s events, and at other events run by the Dakar Women’s Group. I am so happy to be able to see my art at these exhibitions and other places. It affirms my being an artist. Having others tell me how much they love my art, and buying it, has been such an encouragement to me and my work.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art
Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art

Do you face any challenges as an artist in Senegal, and more so as a deaf artist? If yes, what do you think can be done to address those challenges?

It is difficult to find ways to sell my art because opportunities are limited. Being a deaf artist, it’s a bit difficult for me to get involved in the art community of Dakar, which is quite extensive. I do not have other ways to sell my art right now, but my dream would be to sell it in other countries, especially in the US, but I have not found a way to do that yet.

I need to find other places in Dakar, that could sell my artwork, and also, with help from my friends in the US, find ways to sell my art there also.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art

What words of advice do you usually tell your young students who wish to become great artists like you?

I have one student in particular who is a very gifted artist. He has a natural talent for drawing, using a black or blue ink pen. I encourage him to not only do pen and ink drawings, but to try other media, especially acrylics, to broaden his knowledge of art. I am also encouraging him to go to an art school in Dakar where he will get professional-level training once he completes his education at the school for the deaf.

Serge Doamba - Deaf Artist Based In Senegal Making The Most Of His Visual Ability Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Serge Doamba Art

Currently, where can people find your work if they would like to view or buy some pieces?

I currently sell my art by posting it on Facebook on my page @SergeDoamba. It has also been available through the Dakar Women’s Group sale which has been online for the past two years. I also encourage people to come to my home and see my art. I am planning an art exhibition and sale at our school this December, and I look forward to everyone’s support.

I would like to find other ways to sell my art. If it is to be sold in other countries, I would need some way to have the art transported there, so I hope that one day soon I will be able to get some assistance with regards to shipping my art.

Interviewed by Gugu Mpofu

admin@asanteafrika.net

Continue Reading

Creative Outlet

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela – Anything Can Be Art Supplies

I would be lying if I said adding a big gallery to the mix wouldn’t be the mother of all pluses

Published

on

By

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art
54 / 100

When you think of art and how it is made, ‘expensive’ is a word that comes to mind. For so long the art scene has been a sector for the rich who could afford to either buy or make the art. The cost of canvases and paints is one I am sure most African parents wouldn’t be able to meet or not see as worthwhile. But what do you do when the talent is there? Well, Tsibisho Matsetela is an artist whose work could be the answer to that question. The South African artist doesn’t need much but a lot of items one can find around the house to create his work; from maize meal to coffee, it all works.

Hailing from the province of Limpopo in South African, Matsetela has always been a creative. This first presented itself in dance back in his school days in the rural areas, and has morphed into inspired artwork. He describes himself as a visual artist with a knack for discovering new material to incorporate into his work.

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art

What inspired the use of food in your art?

I have always wanted to be different; yes I make art, but there are so many other talented artists out there. It’s an influence in my work that has been with me since I was in school.

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art

“The most memorable one would have to be a drawing of Mr. Nathi Mthethwa, the Minister of Art and Culture which I attempted using IWISA maize-meal.”

Where do you get your ideas from?

I get my ideas from my surroundings; the rainbow nation is a melting pot of inspiration, if one pays attention. Bare in mind, I don’t mean from the so-called ‘wow’ stuff which is out there, but simple everyday stuff. A lot of my inspiration also comes from other black South African Artists whom I look up to.

What is the craziest type of food you have used?

(Laughs) Maize-meal and coffee.

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art

Any projects that didn’t work out or go as planned?

I really have to think, and not because all my ideas work out, (a pause). The most memorable one would have to be a drawing of Mr. Nathi Mthethwa, the Minister of Art and Culture which I attempted using IWISA maize-meal. Let’s just say the project came with unforeseen complications, but who knows, I might try again one day. It’s all a trial and error game.

How do you currently market your creations?

At the moment social media is my best friend, and of course if I can showcase at an event, I take full advantage of such opportunities.

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art

Any particular artists that influence your art?

I would have to say Percy Maimela and Ennock Mlangeni, both are visual artists. Their work constantly challenges me to do better, be bolder, and think outside the box.

Any dreams of collaborating on a project?

Working with any artist is a big deal, and collaboration is a good way to get my creative juices flowing, but I would be lying if I said adding a big gallery to the mix wouldn’t be the mother of all pluses.

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art

Any art gallery in particular at the top of the collaboration list?

Yes, Melrose Arch Art Gallery. It’s an amazing platform, and such an opportunity would get my art recognised, and most definitely set a tone for my career.

Where do you see your art in five years?

God-willing, I will most definitely be creating more and sharing my talent with the world. I hope to be working with renowned galleries not only in South Africa, but around the world.

Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art
Artist Tsibisho Matsetela - Anything Can Be Art Supplies Asante Afrika Magazine
Image: Tsibisho Matsetela Art

Where can anyone looking to get in contact with you to buy your art or collaborate with you find you?

They can email me at: tsibishom8@gmail.com
Find me on Facebook: Tsibisho Lesiba
or Instagram: tsibisho_artworks

Interviewed by Hazel Lifa

hazel@asanteafrika.net

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020. Powered by @dubecreative and @zenanitech