Ulwandle Lwephakade

Nicholas Hlobo
Ulwandle Lwephakade, 2021
Ribbons and acrylic paint on Belgian Linen
Work: 100 x 150 cm

For Hlobo, the image of the work is often sketched and pierced directly onto the canvas. By working directly on the canvas, there is a sense of immediacy and freedom that allows the work to reveal itself more slowly and more fluidly. The act of piercing and stitching reflects on healing processes necessary within the South African context, he explains; “There is a sense of violence in mark-making. By making any mark you’re disturbing the balance that is already there and beginning to create chaos,” elaborating; “As South Africans, we are constantly looking at ourselves. The piercing and stitching do the same as the work of a surgeon, looking within so that you can begin to remove ailments and attempting to propose a process of healing.” “Ulwandle Lwephakade” (loosely translated to the ocean of infinity) evokes the ocean through the emerging shades of blue but also draws attention to the openness with which it was created. The work is an exploration of the artist’s curiosities with what he calls “energy lines”, drawing them onto the canvas and allowing the artworks to bring themselves to life. “The was no form in mind when I made this work, it was allowed to be. By working from a feeling without being controlled, the ocean came to be and the possibilities became infinite,” explains Hlobo.