The Pandemic Project :: Lehlogonolo Mashaba

Today’s featured artist for the UJ Arts & Culture’s ‘The Pandemic Project’ is visual artist and printmaker Lehlogonolo Mashaba. His work, entitled Re-form XI, looks at the mysteries and complexities surrounding the origins, and ultimately the meaning, of life.

Mashaba takes a closer look at the cycle of life during the pandemic, at the uncertainties of things beyond our understanding, and experiences an appreciation of the essence of life itself. His work addresses the idea of duality and the need for polarities to coexist simultaneously. At a time when we will be tested the most, Mashaba sees this idea of end and beginning, of push and pull, to be a highly potent topic.

Re-form XI consists of a lone figure that fades and distorts itself over a period of time, taking the shape of a translucent human form. Mashaba’s work takes inspiration from nature, geography and biology as well as giving the human figure an element of technological augmentation. The mark making depicts traces of mystical energies, of fragmented bodies in a state of integration or disintegration in non-objective form.

Kgore is a Setswana greeting song to a king. The villagers are looking forward to sunrise to go greet the king, so they call on the morning bird to summon the morning in order for them to go greet the king. Kgore mpuelele ho ye, ke bitsa phakela Ke fithle ke re Kgosi dumela ihele! Ah hele! Utlwang kwa lesunyaneng Trasnlation: Morning bird, speak on my behalf, I call morning! So I can go and greet the king! Listen and hear the birds call from the mountains!

Take a look at Lehlogonolo Mashaba’s ‘Re-form XI’ and listen to the UJ Choir singing Kgore.

About Lehlogonolo Mashaba

Lehlogonolo Mashaba is a visual artist and printmaker born in Kwa-Thema, Ekurhuleni, in 1983. Investigating the notion of thought as a base for the origin for life in his drawings and prints, Mashaba often incorporates inconceivable text, form and lines in his work to construct figures. His work attempts to establish a dialogue between mind, body and spirit as well as technology. Mashaba established himself as a professional printmaker at Artist Proof Studio in 2004 and collaborated with many local and international artists on a variety of projects and techniques. He has achieved success as an artist hosting many solo exhibitions around the country and was commissioned to do a large six-floor balcony artwork at the head office of ABSA in Johannesburg.