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Dolla Sapeta| Personal website| Artist

new brighton P.E South Africa

panels and pages

shifting the centre is an idea that subsist behind observations and buildup of my work. it suggests that these observations should propose relationships between differences and constantly shift and interact with one another, instead of one dominant viewpoint that purports itself to be the source of interpretation for others. furthermore, it calls on artists to be many things, activists, instigators and advocates towards a new world order.

i am involved in various collaborative projects such as poetry readings, promotion of art education, public murals and residencies, sometimes as a support contributor. to enhance quality in art education and cultural situations. between numerous support acts, different platforms and social groupings, a time for traditional creative processes emerge to undergo individualistic studio developments. in these creative processes nothing is by chance, almost everything is statically planned before execution and on some occasions i allow buildups rooted on random experimental purposes, and this includes both, writing and painting.

my subject-matter is an effort to mirror african or in particular south african urban identity issues, around sexuality, race and class situations. the power relations between people that seem to have everything and people who merely exist on the fringes of society. i am constantly attempting to articulate muffled hierarchies between these models in the work place and in society.

employing minimal narrative is on purpose. portraying these models and hoping they serve a specific role and presence to further narrate the proposed subject-matter as they continue to morph and grin across panels and pages. i am fascinated by certain faces that i encounter in ordinary spaces and phases, i approach and kindly ask most of the characters for a pose, some do some don’t. then it becomes my responsibility to manipulate and expose them in the most horrible light possible. my work mainly focusses in human conditions in urban spaces; the power struggles ꟷ and its atmospheric embodiment is projected by means of emphasis on the use of space and colour. i find both elements more articulate than the overload of words and objects.

i have used box shaped panels in the past because the word “box” elaborated metaphorically and reflected on certain realities in which these models of subjugation experience in their actual lives. i detained and stifled them inside of these box shaped panels. constantly shifting and pushing them around and off the centre. appearing on the peripheral bottom right or left of the box panel. uncomfortably off the focal point and sometimes looking upward or outside the boarder limits of the panels. i would further suffocate them with flat solid bright colour field that offers no sense of depth so that there is no perspective for them to retreat to. they remain subservient off the centre and stuck to the colour field around them. to suggest that the marginalized “other” over there, is merely a stalking reflection of ourselves, our own unacknowledged shadows.

currently, i am working on a new body of work using the same traditional tools of acrylic paint on canvas or ballpoint pen and ink washes on paper. approaching the same subject with emphasis on every opportunity not to narrate because i have now expanded the space the model occupies so that there is nothing else besides the model. sometimes the model is constantly erased and can only be traced through its eyes that become the actual narrative point. the model has stopped being the punished anonymous, morphing and grinning across the panels ꟷ he stares and remains in the centre. the intention is to render a bleak subject-matter with a minimal narrative so that simplicity becomes the actual complexity.