• Shakes Tembani

    Shakes Tembani
    • Artist Statement
      • In my work I pay tribute to the hard workers in our society: solo parents, breadwinners and church-goers. I often depict uniformed groups with their accordant dress code symbolic of equality, dignity and solidarity.

        I use a deliberate stylised technique of bold, flat colour on canvas in a minimalistic palette to portray human figures recognisable by their group identity rather than their individual characteristics.
    • Biography
      • Meshack “Shakes” Tembani (1975-)

        From a young age, Meshack “Shakes” Tembani loved art and started exploring different avenues of expression in a variety of mediums such as painting and mosaic. With a distinctive, stylized and almost naïve technique, he invites viewers to contemplate the beautiful in the seemingly ordinary by using bold and flat colours. Inspired by the everyday experiences faced by him and his community, Tembani depicts these, often concentrating on strong female figures in his neighbourhood i.e. women who are the breadwinners, church goers, single parents and entrepreneurs
         
        Tembani grew up in the New Crossroads township (Cape Town) where he still lives and works. In 1998 he completed a Certificate in Visual Arts with the Community Arts Project. This was followed by a Certificate in Screen-printing, paper-mache, fabric painting and craft at Ruth Prowse College of Art and Design (1999). He then completed Diploma in Adult Education at the University of Cape Town in 2003 and a Product Design and Development Course at Madesa the next year. Tembani was a resident artist at the Castle of Good Hope Art Studios for a few years. He has had a number of solo exhibitions and has participated in many group exhibitions both locally and abroad. Tembani’s work has been commissioned by companies and institutions and appears in several collections globally.
         
        RESIDENCIES AND TRAINING

        2007 – 2011    Resident artist at Castle of Good Hope Art Studios
        2004    Product Design and Development Course, Madesa, Observatory
        2003    Diploma in Education: Adult Education, University of Cape Town
        2001    Certificate: Visual Art, Art’s Cool
        1999    Certificate: Screen printing, papier-mâché, fabric painting & craft, Ruth Prowse
        2003    Certificate: Artists as Teachers Learnership Programme, iBhahatane Project, Frank Joubert Art Centre
        1998    Certificate in Visual Arts, Community Arts Project

         SOLO EXHIBITIONS
        2011    UNQULO, AVA, Cape Town
        2009    Just Dogs, AVA, Cape Town
         
        GROUP EXHIBITIONS
        2020    KNOOP / KNOP, Gallery University Stellenbosch
        2020    We’ve come to take you home, Michaelis Gallery, UCT, Cape Town
        2019    Returning the Gaze, Cape Gallery
        2019    The Emerging Artist Development Trust, Travelling Gallery Mouille Point
        2019    Tulbagh Art Festival, Tulbagh
        2019    The Travelling Gallery, Frankfurt, Stuttgart
        2019    The Travelling Gallery, Munchen, Germany
        2017    Soho Pop Up Exhibition, London
        2014    Telling our Story, The Cape Gallery, Cape Town
        2014    Talking about Cape Town, The Cape Gallery, Cape Town
        2012    Social Synergy, The Cape Gallery, Cape Town
        2010    Mini me, AVA, Cape Town
        2010    A dip into the World of Visual Arts in Cape Town, Embassy of Spain
        2009    Tombola and the Art Reaching Fund, AVA, Cape Town
        2009    Art Reach in Progress, AVA, Cape Town
        2009    Studio Visit, AVA, Cape Town
        2008    RE-CM, Waterfront, Cape Town
        2008    Soul of Africa (DBSA), Johannesburg
        2008    Art Reach, The Best of 2008, AVA, Cape Town
        2007    Making Space, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
        2006    Face (In) Cape Town, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
        2004    Members Exhibition, AVA, Cape Town
        2002    Annex Gallery, Cape Town

        AWARDS
        2009    Vuleka Art Competition Finalist

        COMMISSIONS
        2019    Painting: University of Cape Town
        2004    Mosaic: Kwalanga Construction of Wall Murals
        2004    Seven Pebbles Mirror: Accommodation facility Robben Island
        2002    Mosaic: Arabella Hotel, Western Cape
        2001    Mosaic Mural: Clock Tower Hotel
        2001    Mosaic: Red Cross
        1999    Mural and Mosaic design and Wall construction: Guga Sthebe Centre, Kwalanga

        COLLECTIONS & GALLERIES
        Irma Stern Museum
        The Cape Gallery, Cape Town
        State of the Art Gallery, Cape Town
        Ebony Gallery, Franschoek
        School of Economics, University of Cape Town
        The Gite Gallery, Houston, USA
        Haven Holdings, Johannesburg
        Nando’s Art Collection
        Spier Art Collection
        Hollard Art Collection
        Art Innsbruk, Germany 2020
        Roussouw Modern Art Gallery, Hermanus
        Association for Visual Arts Gallery (AVA), Cape Town
        ArtChemistry Gallery, Netherlands
        ARTsouthAFRICA Gallery
    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        Simphiwe Dzube, Kemang Wa Lehulere and Dion Cupido

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        George Pemba whose work was inspired by scenes of daily life – and the use of figures in his compositions.

        If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
        A work by George Pemba from his series which tackled issues around access to clinics.

        How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?


        Yes, I started drawing and playing with colours at an early age.
        What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?


        Life, church goers, single parents and ordinary workers – and dogs, the theme of my solo exhibition at the AVA in 2009.
        What inspired your latest body of work?


        My latest work is inspired by the lives of the ordinary people in my community.
        Tell us more about your creative process.

        I work from my own reference material, images snapped with my phone – and personal experience.

        What drives you as an artist?

        Issues and situations faced by ordinary people during the course of their daily lives.

        Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?

        Yes,  my painting featured on the exhibition invite for UnQulo in 2011 - the work shows women going to church.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        Having an opportunity to exhibit my work outside of South Africa in many of the Nando’s collections.

        What are your aspirations for the future?

        To continue to participate in group and solo exhibitions.
  • #coronamask II - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    #coronamask II
    Painting / 20 x 30 cm
    $210
  • #coronamask I - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    #coronamask I
    Painting / 20 x 30 cm
    $210
  • Puff And Pass - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    Puff And Pass
    Painting / 100 x 100 cm
    $1 530
  • #coronamask III - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    #coronamask III
    Painting / 20 x 30 cm
    $210
  • Grannies - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    Grannies
    Painting / 50 x 50 cm
    $600
  • Level 4 Covid-19 - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    Level 4 Covid-19
    Painting / 50 x 50 cm
    $600
  • Brothers - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    Brothers
    Painting / 50 x 50 cm
    $600
  • Waiting - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    Waiting
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
    $1 830
  • African Smoking A Pipe - Painting by Shakes Tembani
    SHAKES TEMBANI
    African Smoking A Pipe
    Painting / 50 x 50 cm
  • Ladies - Painting by Shakes Tembani
    SHAKES TEMBANI
    Ladies
    Painting / 150 x 100 cm
  • Rush Hour - Painting by Shakes Tembani
    SHAKES TEMBANI
    Rush Hour
    Painting / 150 x 100 cm