Nice to meet you. I’m Tumelo. I am currently a Fine Arts student at the Wits School of Art. I am a multidisciplinary artist that practices mostly photography, videography, sound and fashion, depending on where my artistic inspiration leads me. I am a minimalist at heart so my approach is dissecting, examining and understanding, in real time, the simplicity and complexity of everyday life and producing works in a palatable fashion yet still staying true to its purpose. This process of assimilation aids me in allowing the work to live and breathe in its own right, making me a conduit for its production more than just an autocrat over the varied connotations it may bear. I am heavily inspired by rebellious urban artists that shift the culture, that move the needle. I loosen the reins to allow myself to work freely and optimally, with the trust that the art will speak with as much fluidity as it intends to.
Rest In Peace, Virgil Abloh.
The featured work is titled shadow/former self. It takes the form of a small publication (or zine, if you will) and is an introspective piece about life post pandemic. It looks at the idea of the mask as an extension of the
self-editing and self-conscious nature of my own mind coming out of a prolonged period of isolation. Taking into account the numerous, maybe even devious, connotations that a balaclava bears, the point is to create a
menacing character that speaks to the menacing nature of one’s emotions in this day and age. It over exaggerates the mask, covering the entire face instead of just the nose and mouth area, to provide my personal commentary on how the process of slowly coming out of the lockdown has been a period of
profound self-discovery on my part, but with that a period of continuing to realign myself with the new normal in this shaken social reality. A new contemporary existence. New views on social interaction and engagement. We wear different masks for different situations, we become different characters for different activities of our lives. Sometimes even to the point of self-erasure. This is the focus of the work, in all its eeriness and darkness.