NEW DIS­PEN­SA­TION: A SOLO EX­HI­BI­TION BY PAT SITHOLE

A solo ex­hi­bi­tion by Pat Sithole

Creative Feel - - CONTENTS -

Pat Sithole’s lat­est solo ex­hi­bi­tion, New Dis­pen­sa­tion will be shown at the Absa Gallery from 8 July to 3 Au­gust 2018.

Pat Sithole’s lat­est solo ex­hi­bi­tion, New Dis­pen­sa­tion will be shown at the Absa Gallery from 8 July to 3 Au­gust 2018. Cre­ative Feel has been fol­low­ing Sithole’s ca­reer ever since his first solo ex­hi­bi­tion at the same Absa Gallery in 2007 and re­cently caught up with him to dis­cuss his lat­est work and his per­spec­tive of the in­ter­lead­ing years.

Cre­ativ­ity runs through Pat Sithole’s veins. He is the nephew of the renowned South African wood sculp­tor, the late Lu­cas Sithole and has been artis­tic all his life. He is con­vinced that this is some­thing he was born with.

Sithole feels that his work has re­ally grown over the last few years. ‘I have pro­duced some new art­work in which I’m in­spired and in­flu­enced by the daily changes and ex­pe­ri­ences that are hap­pen­ing in my life and in my coun­try.’ When Cre­ative Feel in­ter­viewed him pre­vi­ously, his home and stu­dio were in the far East Rand town­ship of KwaThema in Springs. He con­firmed that he chooses to still live there be­cause he is in­trigued by and draws in­spi­ra­tion from his sur­round­ings and the con­stant buzz of ac­tiv­ity go­ing on around him.

New Dis­pen­sa­tion is an in­tro­spec­tive and re­flex­ive project that fo­cuses on the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal con­di­tions that many South Africans are find­ing them­selves in. It is mostly in­spired by so­ci­etal changes, mem­o­ries and the lived ex­pe­ri­ences that var­i­ous South Africans and South African com­mu­ni­ties have and use to con­struct and un­der­stand their daily re­al­ity.

As an emo­tion­ally charged ex­hi­bi­tion, New Dis­pen­sa­tion draws on sad­ness, pain and joy that in­di­vid­u­als experience in their daily lives and how these emo­tions mo­ti­vate them to con­tinue to strive for a bet­ter life and a bet­ter to­mor­row. Draw­ing fur­ther on Sithole’s so­cial sur­round­ings, per­sonal life and experience of the tran­si­tion from one po­lit­i­cal dis­pen­sa­tion to an­other, this ex­hi­bi­tion ques­tions no­tions of hu­man en­durance, emo­tion and po­si­tion.

When asked about changes in his sur­round­ings, Sithole says that he has ex­pe­ri­enced many pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments and trans­for­ma­tions since 2007. He feels that the con­di­tions in which he lives have changed dras­ti­cally, even though some things re­main un­changed and there are still prob­lems to be solved.

The changes that have taken place over this pe­riod, both in his sur­round­ings and the coun­try, have had a sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on Sithole’s work for his forth­com­ing show. This can be seen in his choice of colours for the show, which he says are cho­sen specif­i­cally to rep­re­sent the trans­for­ma­tion he has ex­pe­ri­enced. The colours are strong and bright, which he says rep­re­sent hope and op­ti­mism.

‘In fact, we are liv­ing in a coun­try where we are faced with many things, some of them are bad and some good, but my colours only fo­cus on hope and development,’ says Sithole. ‘That is why I use bright colours in­stead of us­ing strong

“I’m in­spired and in­flu­enced by the daily changes and ex­pe­ri­ences that are hap­pen­ing in my life and in my coun­try”

po­lit­i­cal colours.’ Sithole feels that there are more pos­i­tive changes tak­ing place now than there were in 2007. ‘I see the op­por­tu­ni­ties,’ he says.

When asked about a re­cur­ring mo­tif in his art – a news­pa­per – Sithole ex­plains, ‘That is a sort of col­lage. I used the news­pa­per be­cause it plays a part in my life in a sense that it in­forms me about what is hap­pen­ing in my sur­round­ings.’

When Pat Sithole is not paint­ing in his stu­dio in Springs, he is teach­ing art to chil­dren in his town­ship at KwaThema Li­brary in a project spon­sored by the Ekurhu­leni Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. In fact, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity runs the project in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Depart­ment of Arts and Cul­ture and is in­volved in ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing man­ag­ing it. Sithole is em­ployed to teach the chil­dren, some­thing that he is pas­sion­ate about. Sithole is de­ter­mined to use his own experience to un­earth artis­tic tal­ent in young people.

Un­ti­tled, Pat Sithole, 2018

Un­ti­tled, Pat Sithole, 2018

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