• Mpho Mothuntsi

    Mpho Mothuntsi
    • Artist Statement
      • The surface material for my work is made from papier-mâché (recycled waste newspaper). As a young boy growing up in a township area I have always been inspired by the township creative residents who dedicate most of their time collecting found objects and transforming them into interesting objects to be used for different purposes.
        My aim is to form a relationship between these resourceful creatives and the media, taking the concept of recycling and using it as a metaphor for struggle, dignity, transformation, visual appeal and creativity. I translate their creative process into my own method of recycling; by using papier-mâché as a means to show that any object can be manipulated and transformed with creativity. The compulsion to recycle drives me to create and develop my artworks.
    • Biography
      • N. Dip. Fine Art (Vaal University Of Technology)

        Mpho Mothuntsi was born and raised in a small township called Eatonside Sebokeng around Gauteng Province. In 2009 he matriculated from Thandukwazi High School, then went on to study art and graduated with a National Diploma in Fine Art from Vaal University of Technology in 2015.


        Top 15 finalists; Thami Mnyele Fine Art Award. Johannesburg

        FNB Joburg Art Fair. Sandton Johannesburg
    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        Lehlogonolo Mashaba; He uses texts from people’s text (sms) messages to create figures. Benon Lutaaya, he is a Johannesburg-based visual artist who uses waste paper material in his work to communicate the vulnerability of human life. He is from Uganda but he has been working in South Africa for so long. Mbongeni Buthelezi; he uses waste plastic: he cuts it into little pieces and glues them onto the canvas to, and to create images; Claude Chandler's ‘Binary Visage’ series of work, Diane Victor; "Catching Ghost" in which she uses candle smoke to create her images. I feel inspired by these artists because I feel connected to the way they manipulate their mediums, and how they manage to replace traditional artistic tools.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        I admire Gerard Sekoto I find his work fascinating, his work focused deeply on the subject matter but for me i feel like his paintings exemplify focus on the use of colors by avoiding more literal transcription of human nature.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
        Benon`s exhibition ‘Transgression’ at Lizamore & Associates gallery 2013, Johannesburg. He uses "waste paper material in his work to communicate the vulnerability of human life. And through his collage techniques, he aims to comment on and raise many fundamental questions about the complexity of human conditions today". I was inspired by his works and it challenged me particularly on how he manipulates his medium and I felt connected and related to his concept. His combination of both abstract and realistic elements through his technique of using waste paper materials has allowed me to be creative and open my mind to think differently, and experiment with different materials: my work used to be more realistic and I felt no sense of interpretation or transformation as they now almost look transcript.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

        I get inspirations from the artists I’ve mentioned on the first question, and by walking around my community, social observation, and through my passion while I'm working.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
        I use music as a form of ritual or habit, by listening to different genre of music allows me to think creatively and dance around especially when I feel that what I’m creating is coming out the way I want it to be.
        What do you like most about being an artist?
        Freedom of expression, doing something that I love, being an artist allows me to look the world differently.
        I'm the type of person who doesn't socialize much so I use art to communicate.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
        I go outside to get fresh air, I reflect on my previous works to avoid repetition, and try to refresh my mind by reviewing some of the works that I find inspiring, and I also experiment with different mediums and materials to search for new direction.
        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
        Top 15 Thami Mnyele Fine Art Award in 2016

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
        Yes, I want my work to accommodate everyone even those who doesn't like art, I believe my artworks are interesting so If you buy my work and hang on your wall it should be something that would make you happy and not something that will only benefit the wall.
        What are your plans for the coming year?

        Entering Thami Mnyele Fine Art Award, and other competitions. My working process is a journey and I want to experiment with as many different objects and materials as I can find, and one day I want to see myself creating something unique, powerful and different.
        Having my first solo exhibition would be a dream come true.