A solo exhibition at Artistry JHB, Sandton

TSA SEFALENG is a thought-provoking and timely exhibition that not only celebrates South Africa's progress since the advent of democracy but also challenges viewers to confront the ongoing challenges and injustices that persist.

In the vibrant tapestry of artistic expression, there are creators whose work transcends mere representation to delve deep into the realms of imagination, emotion, and introspection.

TSA SEFALENG is a solo exhibition that celebrates the boundless creativity and profound vision of Ramatoana Richard Mokgomme.

Through a mesmerising collection of paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media pieces at the Artistry exhibition in Sandton viewers are invited to embark on a transcendent voyage through the artist’s mind, exploring the intersections of time, space, and human experience.

Paula Thathana and Daphne Mokgomme enjoy their time at the exhibition. Photo: Duduzile Khumalo

Mokgomme said that his work references an old South African green ID book of his late father. The artist’s father passed away in 1994 having never taken any pictures of himself – the only picture that the family had was the one from an ID book.

“This allows me to engage my work further by looking into the history and politics of South Africa post-Apartheid and now. So, I composed this exhibition in a theatre-stage approach as it unfolds a reality that viewers and citizens are familiar with.”

Ramatoana Richard Mokgomme is the man behind the beautiful works of art. Photo: Duduzile Khumalo

He added that the themes and concepts are centred around black history and politics after 1994 and, interestingly, measure our failures and successes before our 2024 elections.

“My approach to this exhibition started with the collection of found objects, which are the bones of dead cows that ate dissolved nappies and plastics in my village, which will help me to explore the issues of land, environment, and village economy.”

Ramatoana Richard Mokgomme references an old South African green ID book. Photo: Duduzile Khumalo

Mokgomme elaborated that the impact of this exhibition brought into this art space is to merge theatre play into gallery walls, which invites creative theatre practitioners, writers, audiences, and artists of all disciplines to continue contributing to a greater change for our state’s current affairs.

“The medium that I used in this body of work is acrylic paint, brown paper, ID copies, cow bones, and wood pallets, and the techniques were collage, paintings, installation, and fitting sculpture.”

One of the pieces in the TSA SEFALENG exhibition. Photo: Duduzile Khumalo

He explained that it is interesting that he can’t single out one piece as stronger than others because the whole body of work is detailed and positioned to respond to post-apartheid and current politics and, most importantly, allow viewers to understand the role of artists and the arts in our society.

More than a mere collection of artwork. Photo: Duduzile Khumalo

“I encountered a few challenges that are normal for independent artists because I am self-funding these exhibitions. I have witnessed how expensive art materials are. Still, overall, it’s a great experience because now I am very much aware of the business side of the arts as I continue practising as a full-time artist.”

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