Xolile Mtakatya ‘Conversations’
A solo exhibition by Xolile Mtakatya opens on ‘First Thursday’ 4th April at 6 pm.
Work will be on view until Saturday 27th May.
“Mtakatya’s pastels portray an episodic sequence of daily experiences. Life is like street theatre, he says, with a lot of improvisation. Life is love, betrayal, is lust, and is colourful, he continues.
One needs to look behind curtains and under the carpet! Then one will see the sequence of the episodes of life.” Quote from the program of his solo exhibition at the AVA
With his vibrant colour combinations, his well-developed draftmanship, his strong sense of line and his engaging African characters who are caught in typical local adventures, he harmonises the scenes in his work, filling them with warmth to feed his soul and build his inner strength.
Born 30th April 1968 in Cape Town.
Mtakatya completed his education at Guguletu High School in 1986. An active member of the Cape Youth Congress he was detained in 1986.
"I began scratching and drawing on the grey walls of the prison cell to relieve my frustration" says Mtakatya.
In 1987 he was able to attend drawing lessons at the Community Arts Project in Woodstock part time. He graduated in a course in media and continued to study the visual arts part time. His interest led him to complete the four-year study of Fine Arts at The Foundation School of Art and receive his Diploma in Fine Arts in 1993.
Since then he has been involved in community projects teaching children and adults in art and media workshops or participating as a practicing artist. In this capacity he taught screen-printing to unemployed mothers from the underprivileged areas such as Crossroads near Cape Town. He has assisted and convened workshops in the Boland and other rural areas organized by C.A.P. (Community Arts Project), the ANC and other progressive organizations in the Western Cape.
Mtakatya established a successful studio workshop in Khayelitsha (Khaymep). He has also facilitated several fine art workshops for children and adults, (eg screen printing).
The ritual and fetish figures often portrayed in Xolile Mtakatya's works are not always used for their original symbolic significance, but rather for their inherent beauty and to elicit an emotional response in the viewer. These objects serve as modern-day metaphors in their efforts to facilitate social change among the diverse cultures globally.
Source: January 2002 Art News that is edited by Jean Campbell.