Thabiso Phokompe
Mixed media artist based in New Yorkr

Atist Statement
I come from a family of traditional healers; the focal point of my artwork is centered around healing. I am overwhelmed by the use of found objects. Giving life to lifeless objects stimulates and encourages me to create beyond economic boundaries. I am currently painting with soil. Soil is the core of existence, like a womb from which life flows. Soils with different hues create a sense of time and space. Working with soil reflects elements of my daily rituals.

I incorporate elements such as Muti (medicinal herbs), Iskhali (ritual sticks), and beads, to enhance as well as to express my spiritual belief system. These elements create a dialogue both spiritually and physically, adding a dimension that brings about movement, music, and the play of light and dark to create expressions.

Muti is a substance that can heal spiritual and physical wounds. Muti possess a duality quality and just as it heals it can destroy. As a life giving force I use Muti in my painting to enhance and give strength to my pieces. Iskhali are used as weapons to protect and guide one physically and spiritually. I incorporate them as a symbol of protectiveness in my work. As beads vary in color and size so does their purpose. The color of beads offers a vibrancy and depth to my work. They have the strength to conceal, without them there is nakedness. Beads are used to heal and prevent ailments. Muti, Iskhali, and beads are used in my art to convey the language of healing. My art explores both the physical and spiritual world around me.

“Diphaiphai” 2008 93 x81 inches Medium: Canvas, found objects on wood with pigments


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