ArtThrob: Literature and Linework

Zona Magadla is featured in this article by Artthrob’s Misha Krynauw exploring minimalist and monochrome artworks with a readerly approach.

See Zona’s ink drawings on paper available for sale here>>>


Zona Magadla, Marks Of Me #3. Ink on 200gsm paper. 60cm x 84cm

 Read an excerpt of the article “Literature and Linework: On Zona Magadla, Emma Richardson, and Dale Lawrence” by Misha Krynauw below.

Find the full feature on Artthrob’s website here.


“Zona Magadla’s series of portraiture Marks of Me arose from a desire to reconnect to her art. “I think the intention of the marks and them being so, is purely because I was seeking [a way] to get back to mark-making and creating; [an homage] to my womanhood at the time,” she explains. “There’s something about a new notebook that excites me,” Magadla continues, “A fresh book with unturned pages. I have the same feeling when an off-white, blank, crafted sheet of paper is in front of me. Then, I think only black ink can be it’s fitting compliment. A good pairing.”

The series itself is a collection of beautifully etched portraits that depict the symbiosis between light and space in the same breath as it honours the meeting of mediums and monochrome. Each etch feels like a reminder of the significance of every detail we possess, reflected back to us to acknowledge, and cherish. A reminder that every line is necessary, as well as every absence of colour and ink. The images present an idea that challenges ‘completeness’; Magadla leaves these spaces to ask questions, while giving room for answers in the same moment. Leaving room for speculation is another trait entwined with literature, and the parallel grows more obvious when speaking of the frame of mind entered into, to acquire this sacred stasis. “I think my instinctive reason to use black ink on paper is because it is the most familiar to my hand, and I enter a meditative state when I’m drawing.”

This state of acquiescence gives way to boundless imagination, and here, the artist must only decide what form the emerging ideas should take. The only limit is the impression that there should be any limitations at all. It seems poetic, then, that these simplistic, black and white pieces should emerge in their wake. Perhaps a reminder that reductive reasoning isn’t so much spiteful as it is accessible. Mapping out the journeys travelled by the innermost workings of the mind seem suited to classic linework as the artist gestures for us to follow them in. It echoes something innate and communicates without the words we will continue searching for, spurred on by their visual connotations as our guide.”


Detail of Marks Of Me #1. Ink on 200 gsm paper. 60cm x 84cm