Two new exhibitions open at the BAT Centre on Friday 8 June.
Tswelonala, the Sotho word for the time of harvest, is the title of an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by young, up-and-coming artist, Vincent Tshulupi. In 1985, veteran Umlazi-born and self-taught artist, Plumber Mbokazi, joined the Community Arts Project where he received training and guidance from teachers like Bruno Brincat and Dennis Purvis.
Born in 1974 in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape, Vincent Tshulupi discovered his artistic flair while at the Mariazell Mission School in Matatiele. Like so many other boys, Tshulupi developed a strong interest in modelling cows out of river clay and making wire cars.
When his family moved to Durban, he soon enrolled in Saturday morning art classes at the Durban Art Gallery under the guidance of teacher Pat Khoza. He then joined the African Art Centre classes held at the Technikon Natal.
In 1995, Tshulupi joined the Community Arts Project, a project specialising in mural painting in and around Durban.
He has participated in a number of exhibitions in Johannesburg and Durban: (1995) Johannesburg; (1996) in Zibuyile Emasisweni at the BAT Centre; (1999) at the African Art Centre and in African Perfume at the BAT Centre; (2000) in Makabongwe Ophezulu at the African Art Centre. Tswelonala is his first solo exhibition.
Tshulupi likens an exhibition to a harvest -- the fruits of an artists time of creativity.
There is always a time for a harvest -- sometimes great and at times, nothing at all. This does not mean the artist should fold their hands and stop producing artworks.
When the Community Arts Project closed in 1987, Plumber Mbokazi started teaching himself with books borrowed from libraries. In 1992, he was selected to be part of a group of 15 artists chosen to attend printmaking classes at the Technikon Natal.
The course covered woodcut, silk screen, etching, linocut and lithograph techniques, and was taught by John Roome, Marhai Worsarman, Jan Jordaan and Greg Hayes.
Mbokazis previous exhibitions are as follows: (1990) Open An Eye (Vulamehlo), Durban Art Gallery; (1991) From the Studio, NSA; (1993) Yesterday Today Tomorrow (Le Plaza Hotel); (1994) Artist Invites Artist Durban Art Gallery; (1995) The Cutting Edge, African Art Centre; (1996) Natal Biennale, Durban Art Gallery.
When not working on his own pieces, Mbokazi teaches a art to a group of children from his neighbourhood.