This usually happens around festive seasons when the ceo’s of the household give never-ending tasks which sometime feels like a never ending duty. You know, the constant calling of your name as opposed to your brother or sister, or the biased chores you are given and even the never ending tea you need to make for your grandmother becomes an undenying pain in the buttocks!
Im confident to say this is a situation that most people of colour have went through at some point of their childhood and I captured some scenery of these events from my visual diary to canvas exploring figures of African children in traditional attire collaged with salvaged denim to emphasis on the biased nature of these kind of scenes which bring squabbles among siblings.
Although light at the end of the tunnel might seem to come when it’s time for opening those Christmas gifts and unwrapping Christmas clothes meant for Sunday church services, fued prevails when you find out that you and your sibling/s got the same clothes and or one received a better gift than the other…
Having born and raised in a community that stigmatizes artists and have little comprehension to the
art industry causes great frustration which leads to depression. Personally, I have experienced this
in quite a number of times in my life.
In first grade, we had a drawing project. This was the first time I would be critiqued on an artwork by
people besides my family and friends, ever! I happened to do exceptionally well for a 7-year old. I
even got a golden star above all the other subjects which I wasn’t really good at then. From then
onwards this made me believe that I am a good artist. I mean, everyone would say how fantastic my
drawings were. But, that only got me that- complements to feel good about myself. I’d always
wonder where this great skill and talent would get me. I knew none from the circle of people I met
or known to have much insight about being an artist. This created a big resentment to aspiring
further to this gift I have. Especially when family asked what were dreams and you were later
rebuked because of this stigma behind being an artist.
Local artists used to sell their art in the streets and no parent wanted that for their child. “Become a
civil engineer or an architect. You could do whatever you want in life” I was told. Anything besides
being an artist. Even though I was so good with drawing, breaking toys apart and making new
gadgets to fit my mood. I remember my parents stopped buying me new toys to play with because I
would take them apart to replace new parts onto the old ones I had. This created so much anxiety
because this feeling is what I personally knew and felt. Wanting to create for myself. They bought
me books rather, but this urge in me did not stop. I would later trace the books’ fonts on blank paper
because they were much interesting than reading a book without pictures or draw from my mom’s
magazines. I think my greatest escape was figure-drawing my grandmother and her visitors in the
lounge while they were conversing. That gave me great joy. Drawing people and seeing how they
smile and laugh seeing themselves on paper. My 15 years old portfolio is still available somewhere in
my dad’s personal belongings. That makes me happy.
My great depression is this: as a young African child dreaming to be an artist; this dream gets
minusculed to what others see as struggling artists on the streets. Even during high-school days,
those who took art as a major were seen as less intelligent. Even today, having studied Civil
Engineering and now known to be an art student, you get to see how people’s reactions are once
you talk to them. Mostly will belittle the statements you share just because they’d sound creative
and nonsensical to them. I always say that not understanding something or someone only defines
the level of your imagination to comprehend the matter at-hand. Mostly forget that there is no
certain oneness to consciousness. It is only defined uniquely by one’s experiences in life. The
depression of being misunderstood and given a cold shoulder towards your support to achieving
your dreams is toxic. People give up on being what they dreamed to be. This is because of that
stigma attached with becoming something people do not comprehend. Forgetting that the dreamer
is you and the vision of where you would love to be lies within your mind.
People need to embrace their thoughts. Fulfilment is achieved by doing what the mind desires. Do it
unconditionally and unapologetically because that defines you and what better way to define
yourself by your aspirations.
“It’s like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now, you may get the 8-pack, you may
get the 16-pack. But it’s all in what you do with the crayons, the colors that you’re given. And
don’t worry about drawing within the lines or coloring outside the lines. I say color outside the
lines. You know what I mean? Color right off the page. Don’t box me in. We’re in motion to the
ocean. We are not landlocked, I’ll tell ya that” – Waking Life 
Still paddling his bike; his mind gets populated by ideas. So he sits down for a moment to quench an agonising thirst…
“Communication is our ultimate tool. It is what we use to share emotions, ideas and desires. The contrast here is that we have so many different kinds of languages and within each of our eleven languages there are different dialects. So many languages and having to communicate direct instructions or sharing those ideas, emotions and desires could be disasterous. Yho! We can see this in our cultures withing our communities. Especially one social aspect being : Ubuntu- humanity. This being one of the big things that should be really bringing Africans together. But my people this understanding of this humanitarian act is not understood the same. How we perceive this idea of Africanism got lost between Genisis and our Mandela notes in our pockets. Religion and Economy. I wouldn’t want to begin this inquest by stirring conspiracy ideas but I would like to underline this plainly from a topic of communication and further extend the ideal: “Not knowing is expensive. Know yourself” .
A bike has one comfortable sit for the paddler. The person riding the bike is in charge of the destination. How fast I whine my feet on the paddles and the route I choose is all independently up to me. The route’s humps-and-bumps are obsticles that I need to overcome. But this ride is not only faced with everlasting wither but fruits that blossom; people that are about their daily lives; and the soothing cool weather that compels your journey in a twine of memory and wisdom met as an experience. This trip – filled with its events – is quite a Phenomenon: an experience known through senses rather than intuition or reason. This experience can only be known uniquely by the person experiencing this.
I believe that this experience relates massively to life. “Look closely to nature and you will understand how life works”-Einstein. Everything in nature is unique in its shape, look, smell, function of life but the twist here is that even though they are unique in their respect, they are closely related. And relation is what brings us close. It’s our inception to understanding how something works and most importantly communication.
Based on the latest books I have read and articles of interest: ‘Capitalist Nigger’ by Chika Onyeani;’Alchemist’ by Paulo Coehlo; now recently ‘The Ultimate Colonisation of Africa’ by Nick Jibilika and insights on Satre’s and Heidegger’s Phenomenolgy and Existentialism: I have learned that each and every one of us has a desire to fulfill. That doxa experiences are detrimental to the population as this envokes popular decision in the society and turns a blind-eye to eudaimonia – happiness or well-being being the highest aim of moral thought and conduct. Today, our country is facing a lot of backlog concerning our economy and inevitably politics and for a creative mind like mine, certain issues became quite true when reading feats by Chika Onyeani, Jick Jibilika and asf. These ideas shared by these men reveal quite an interesting paradigm when one, Chika Onyeani asserts: that the Black Race is a consumer race and not a productive one. Says the author, Chika Onyeani, “We are a conquered race and it is utterly foolish for us to believe that we are independent. The Black Race depends on other communities for its culture, its language, its feeding, and its clothing.” “Despite enormous natural resources,” according to author, “Blacks are economic slaves because they lack the “killer-instinct” and “devil-may-care” attitude of the Caucasian, as well as the “spider web economic mentality” of the Asian.” The author is not afraid to use the word ‘nigger’ in both pejorative or stereotypic senses. He says, “It is not what you call me, but what I answer to, that matters most.” This, broiled with the issues happening in my country, inspired the notion of having to think and ponder upon posible solutions as to how I – South African citizen – can use this knowledge in empowering my approach to such a predicament : being a consumer that is not productive and not coming with this with a racial notion for one, but an underlying individual who wants to state this aimed at empowering a fellow brother, friend and sisters who longs for economic emansipation and ultimately freedom ( which varies from person to person). This insight, combined with other authors, have sort of brought me to think of life and how to live life to the fullest – taking responsibility to this life concept. Where whining about problems isn’t an issue of self pity but of assertive action, physically participating in the economy. I believe if each individual takes initiative in wanting to no more and being woke (aware) about situation concerning life and what this life is ran by – economics. We shall begin to have a singular and complex ways to eradicate our woes especially poverty. We have had the greatest leaders ; Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Winnie Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Gaddafi, Patrick Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, asf! These great men can only do so much for their people and it is high-time leaders immerge from every department possible because in not doing for ourselves we will forever be dependant and never independent.
“To be something you need to be submerged into the thing itself, fully. For our world runs on a system of Capitalism. We ought to be Capitalist Moguls if we are ought to see economic emancipation for our people. Not just consumers who can’t do for themselves. We have to do our own! Build our own African Economy. We’ve been complaining for far too long about our struggles just to fit in with the western culture that our own insight of our principles and culture are de-emphesized” – Textured LeSela
We are concerned about nonsense and we are proud! This is shameful. Less of life. Less of art. The concept of life is tensioned by not understanding other people’s perceptions and ideas.
The truth is, our own perception about life and how it should be lived becomes less of life when your way -a way- needs to be adhered to by each and every living soul or another person at least. This comes as no unfamiliar token, to feel less of yourself because of fearing what the other person might feel. We accommodate a lot of nonsense and we are complacent to this detrimental element. Oh, we try to make this better. We segregate people in groups, we pick and choose who’s successful by the size of their shoe, we are concerned about what is not right than what is right, we “we” a lot that “I” is forgotten. I am an individual, I see my fellow brothers and sisters as successful – they are on a quest of their own destiny unapologetically. Can we ever say Amen! Let me be me for who I am, for what my life leads me to, for my likes and dislikes?
I hate weaves and make-up. It makes no sense to me. for someone to try and look less of themselves – perfect example of conformation to popular belief. Any different look to what is popular is seen as less beautiful. We are still addressing confusion of perception and ideas. Hating weaves should not be of anyone’s concern but my own! See someone would have read the former with a bitter taste engulfed by emotions deeming this for hypocrisy. This is not a slanderous attack. Evoking the very same feeling you get when another gets when told that their way isn’t the way. For all I know, having a weave on makes you feel great. For all I know, I don’t understand. Girl flourish! I do not know how you feel, what you think or what your interest in life is. I have no business in your destiny. Dream is destiny. Denying you the dream is denying you your life. Let’s allow you to be you for who you are as well!
But I do know that it’s high time we start to learn how to love ourselves. Learning how to love yourself will make you a better person for yourself and everyone else. Really know yourself because your woes are a burden to another person. You are disturbing our peace because you are not at peace with yourself. Once you know yourself you will love yourself for who you are – True Beauty.
“... I’ve came to believe that in this world, you either Inherit or Hustle. Inherit the fruits of your labour or hussle to get the fruits you so need for life. That nothing is ever just. Whatever you feed the mind , repels to the body and soul. However you use your body affects the mind and soul. The soul is you, the Conscious of these elements. Learning to love these elements , is loving yourself, is knowing thy self...”
Fibre wants to blend with other fibres. Fibre, alone, is not as strong as a conglomerate of various textured fibre. Natural fibres are good comfort material but lack the strengths of synthetic fibres and vice versa. The results of carefully combining different material to produce contemporary art installations is exciting! Beautiful.
Inspired by this phenomena, can we also say we need blending of fibres. Complementary qualities of love. Love of thy self to create beautiful art – to be beautiful?
“I love you”- do we ever understand these words? Given that each and every single person experiences life perceptually and understanding of their realities are formed on the basis of these experiences, what allows two people to understand the depths of love itself? Although we tend to fail dismally in comprehending what love is, we aren’t all that hopeless, the feeling of what love feels like is universal.
Put a photographer and a painter on a landscape scene, both will capture the this scene differently. Both installations captured arebeautiful in each artist’s respect.
To this I attest that love is beautiful and each love given from each individual is beautiful. Understanding the beauty of each other’s love is what we strive for.
Love is: the attraction of parallel realities desiring to exist as one – Textured léSela.
Everything you see dares to be felt. It is with an individual to fulfill that yearning desire. Colour, form, lines and composition are a few elements that arouse beauty in the eye’s of the beholder. They are not the only elements – happiness and love, sadness and agony are other intangible elements which inspire ones choice of beauty. We want beauty. This accommodates our natural senses and makes up our reality. Life is a canvas and how big or exciting it is or it should be lies with you. Textured léSela