Art for art’s sake - Oupa Sibeko returns with new solo art exhibition

Oupa Sibeko- Cut of the Stone. Oil, Spray Paint, Oil Stick in canvas. 200x130xm.

Oupa Sibeko- Cut of the Stone. Oil, Spray Paint, Oil Stick in canvas. 200x130xm.

Published Apr 11, 2024


After spending eight months at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, a fellowship in Stuttgart, Germany, Oupa Sibeko has returned to South Africa with his solo exhibition Morwalo, at the Nel Art Gallery in Long Street.

With a practice rooted in performative art, Sibeko’s art production often finds its manifestation in what he calls “Play”.

This invariably involves the body and can be of a certain duration.

In this new body of work is a rich exploration of materiality, of the art object and the use of familiar, even forgotten aspects of the art field, like bubble wrap being employed in ways that reveal metaphor in his ongoing dialogue with memory.

Narratives jump from richly filled substrates like mosquito netting, again a use of a material laden with meaning from the outset, it gains further poetic nuance in this artist’s hands.

Sibeko’s latest venture into materiality, the links to his performative work and how he finds links to the social and communal experiences, shows fresh new ways to experience art production, even to those more familiar with art as an object and collectable product.

“Morwalo art is made of the same material as the social exchanges, it has a special place in the collective production process, a gathering,” Sibeko said.

“The work demonstrates not only its manufacturing and production process, its position within the set of exchanges and the place, or function, it allocates to the beholder, but also the creative behaviour of the artist, otherwise put, the sequence of postures and gestures which make up his work and which each work passes on like a marker.”

"Morwalo takes shape across disciplines and it manifests in the form of paintings, drawings, installations, performative gestures and film; all employed as tools for building narratives about space, vulnerability, movement and play about the public space.

“My recent work continues to be invested in materiality, often combining unconventional tools such as mosquito net and bubble wrap to further explore a continuous motion of playing with the self and others to build a shared experience,” Sibeko said.

The exhibition is open from Tuesdays through Fridays from 10am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. Morwalo closes on May 16.

Cape Times

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