South African visual artist Sampa Diseko

Sampa Diseko

Johannesburg | 0 artworks for sale

  • arge-scale artwork on paper of a seated African woman in a surrealistic scene
    Rise And Demise
    Drawing / 135 x 150 cm
  • Rise And Demise - Drawing by Sampa Diseko
    Rise And Demise
    Drawing / 135 x 150 cm
Sampa Diseko is a multimedia visual artist. Her Canadian- Zambian roots and South African upbringing have played a significant role in her observation of human behavior and interest in the human psyche. Sampas' path back to art has been unconventional. Her background in marketing and her masters in business has given her life opportunities to better understand society and people. The entrepreneurial ventures reignited her desire to create once again, and this time with her hands. Everything that happened in the middle gave her work honesty, humility and a place where she could emotionally draw from.
Her parents played a significant role in her life. Her mother taught her about fabrics, color and fueled her thirst for design and texture. Her father, an entrepreneur, not only taught her about business, but his focus on community development and financial inclusion, taught her about people and empathy. Her life experience drove her desire to focus on people's emotional and mental state. The use of pen in detail gives energy to her work and conveys the weight of the subject's emotions through the dark, stark and solid use of ink often found in some works. Her canvas work focuses on identity, with hand embroidery being the dominant medium, and pen supporting. Sampa is on her way to carve a space in the artworld, with a focus on expressing emotions. Her common style is detail. Detail is a critical component of her work. And her point of inspiration are the shared human experience, the intimate emotions often experienced with the self, the mind and our own shadows.

Sampa Diseko (b. 1984) is a multimedia artist with Canadian - Zambian roots and South African upbringing which have played a significant role in her observation of human behavior and interest in the human psyche.

The artist's work was selected for the exhibition As I Recall Her, expanding the legacy of the Douglass Women at the Roco Gallery in Rochester New York, and more recently at the Art Sur Papier show in Montreal.

Which new trends or South African Artists do you find inspiring?
I am loving the trend in referencing textile. I grew up with fabrics and have a deep appreciation for cloth, patterns and design, which route deeply
back to culture. Referencing of textile in art is not new, but the diversity and style in how it has been done recently is. So the seen trend in textile
referencing has been a particular favorite trend of mine. It has also injected a rise in mixed media work.

Which South African deceased artists do you most admire and why?
Gerard Sekoto. The creation of his work, especially in his early years addresses the sociological circumstances of many black people during the apartheid regime. He provided a sociological perspective of the lives and spaces of many South Africans, whose voices were being oppressed and marginalized. The referencing of the day to day moments of truth are themes that I gravitate towards. I see many of his figurative works as dignified and elegant. Not only is his work meaningful but it is also historic. He set a path for artists to follow and gave courage to many after him.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life what would it be?
Gerard Sekoto, Self - Portrait, 1947.

Pick three artists you would be honored to exhibit with and why?
There are so many great artists that I would like to exhibit with, but currently work that I have loved seeing is from Sthenjwa Luthuli. I am in awe of the level of craftsmanship and detail in his work. The repetition of pattern and patience required are characteristics of my process. Walid Ardhaoui, I love his signature style and the way he captures people with the doodle patterns of kids like sketching, carrying that nostalgic feeling. Billie Zangewa, the social and day to day settings, shares my interests that I find in my own work. I love her collage style, and detailed objects referenced across her pieces. I admire these artist's signatures, and I find similarities with my work in process and purpose, but with extremely different outcomes.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I always wanted to remain creative. Being a full time artist in this sense was not a clear path. I could do art but not create art. Then one day, life
hours accumulated, life experience created chapters of learnings and motions that linked me back to the beginning of my first love, art. Now I was ready to create. Life helped me find my signature if you will. I couldn’t just wake up and do, I had to explore more of life first.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
My work on paper touches on the personal psychological spaces we at times find ourselves in as people. Intimate self explored moments in the most basic spaces. I explore spaces of the self, including relationships between everyday people. Snap shots of everyday spaces that often carry intimate moments even if only for a second. My canvas work centers around identity through the use of fabric design and thread.

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
The hours it sometimes takes to create the piece. To me, the process is as important as the final work.

Tell us more about your creative process:
I have three sources, observation of people and my own emotions, family archives that stretch over four generations, and books. Reading is where I often find themes that I may not have personally explored, but where I can learn from. Or, the words trigger a thought process. I find words to be extremely colorful and rich. It’s where two art forms meet. Writers color your imagination while visual artists materialize it.

Do you believe artists should use their platform to influence society?
I believe that artists have a duty to be true in their work. And in doing so, they will naturally influence society. Now staying true to your work doesn’t
mean it’s the truth. It’s just a version of the truth. Art is valid and worthy because it was created, and if it speaks to even one person's heart, it
mattered. And the heart it speaks too can even be the artists themselves and them alone.

Do you have a favorite or most meaningful piece of work?
I do not. To me, my art is also a moment in time. Because I remember where I was when I created it. Why and what was around me while creating it, and how I felt. Seeing my art is like when you listen to a song and it takes you back in time. That nostalgic kind of love. So they all become my favorites.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
To declare myself one. Believing in your own work is an achievement. Many artists grapple with this process.

What are your inspirations for the future?
To keep creating and sharing my work, God Willing.