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Saturday, October 12, 2013


(Siyabonga Sikosana)

Recently opened at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg is No Place Like Home, an exhibition by Siyabonga Sikosana.

This vibrant young artist, who comes from Willow Fountain in greater Pietermaritzburg, has become well-known for his detailed and often humorous acrylic and oil paintings of life in the semi-rural communities so familiar to him. His canvases are alive with contrasts: romantic against realistic images, subtle against pure colours, light against dark, near against far.

Often, quirky comments are inserted in the form of signs at spaza shops or graffiti on the walls of houses. Sometimes these are upside down, or imaginary. People are busy with everyday activities, such as selling, washing, loitering, attending celebrations or stealing electricity. The artist plays the role of a non-judgmental observer who loves people. The spirit of Ubuntu is alive in his work.

Siyabonga is also well-known for his annual participation in Art in the Park, murals and other commissions around the city, book illustrations and even video making. In 2011, he was one of the 12 artists who painted each other for an exhibition at the Tatham Art Gallery called About Face.

No Place Like Home runs at the Tatham Art Gallery until December 1. The Tatham is situated opposite the Town Hall in Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg. More information on 033 392 2801.