Featured Artist Thabiso Dakamela(South Africa)

Artistic Statement

Drawn always to something that bubbles with joy and positivity, my work has a deeper meaning as it tells day to day stories of life and its challenges, victories and memories. l portray mostly women and children, as l believe they are the future, and thus deserve some recognition which is equivalent to that of men. One cannot help but notice the use of warm and bright colours, especially on my backgrounds, yet with a touch of complexity especially where mixed media and brush strokes are employed. This is a means I use to develop my textural and tonal variations, while bringing about, and developing an understanding of the thematic concerns discussed. I use largely acrylic, oils and charcoal, though also in many cases, different recycled materials. The whole essence is to portray and inspire positivity. To challenge the mind to think differently in a society where the costs of living and life in general seems a chocking nightmare, to inspire my audience to dig deep within themselves and unlock their true potentials in tackling problems faced inward and outward, and to inspire hope and all the good graces one may find.


Thabiso is an urban born and raised visual artist based in Johannesburg. Born to a Ndebele mother and a Venda father. The artist’s inspiration owes much to the day to day lives in the inner city. A sharp observer and social commentator with an amazing gift in analysis of present surroundings and its influences on life. Despite his ability to work in so many mediums, Thabiso prefers acrylic, charcoal and oils. His work blends abstract and realistic features in an impasto presentation to make it unique and peculiar. 

Amidst today’s toils and hustles , he portrays positivity through women and children as these two social groups have been on the rise in recent decades. His work is rich in short series and subtext thoughts that evoke feelings and emotions that encourage positive graces in his audience. The whole essence of living is to make someone else feel alive as well!




The art of self- consciousness is one that is not as easy to master as some may have and put it out there. While living in a society where we are united by one thing on another, we find ourselves also separated by one or two thing as well. And while that may be a painful reality or a fair one, depending on the space one comes from, the flip side to this is what humanity was crowned with the ability to adapt through reason and a calculated analysis of situations present. Once we gather the strength to engage each other in a way that we wish to understand the person on the other end of the table, we find that at times this is a very difficult task to perform. Often the enemy lies in the battles we fight daily to become better versions of ourselves, in pride, fear, shame, regret, etc. The one who then takes the first step towards another proves stronger and more enlightened and the sooner they step out the quicker the cords of fear and resentment loosen and a first step to progress often leads to another and so on. Conversations is such a call that does not only invite the audience to a sense of realizing the need of engagement for one another, but explores other motifs of brotherhood, friendship, love, and other related bonds. These conversations we fear to have are the very keys that holds the start of happiness, joy and successful relations. The fact that we are naturally made to survive upon the privilege of dependency upon one another, for some reason compels us to keep in contact with one another. A mere chat can save a relationship that’s on the verge of sinking, a mere conversation can mend shattered bond that has suffered neglect through indulgence to fear, pride and at times distance. When we find in ourselves the ability and strength to face those things that make us fear and tremble, when we can address and redress situations through available relations to one another, then we’d have reached an awesome level of growth and an indefinite path to progress in life. Then and only then can we have hope in social change and advancement. Then can we look at a tomorrow of oneness without the fear of being proven wrong. In my experience, I have grown to perceive the concept of mental understanding as a glue that can build our already decaying social structures.

Conversations Art Exhibition by Thabiso Dakamela

So while we are not to live in one another shadows, obliging to this and that opinion about such and such a theory, it is also imperative to understand that by ourselves we can do nothing. Those whom we look up to as achievers in our contemporary world were at some point at the bottom line, and they had a conversation with someone somewhere which propelled them to the levels we see them in now. Those of us who have succumbed to death or failure were at some point at a different space, and a conversation with someone or some people had an impact to their ultimate decision. As there is nothing new under the sun, so there is also nothing that just happens in this thought without a cause. Conversations either build or break us, as does truth, pain, reality, and experiences. To tell people what and what not to do is a path that has often proven to bear fruits of a totally opposite intention, but if each individual decides to take a step towards a direction where everyone else is headed to, there is hope of fruition. And while we cannot all subscribe to the idea of conscientizing each other about what we want or like, hate, fear, need, trust, abhor, aspire to be, failing at and growing through, we may have hope is humanity yet if we gave conversations a try. The set of pieces in this collection are a selection of sub series and subjects dealing with the different angles and adjustment approaches to the concept in question. Each piece is a compacted story, a never ending study regarding the intention, interpretations and understanding of it either by the artist or the audience. If at some point we are able to see a painting and reinterpret it to suit a particular situation then faced with. I believe we would have grown to discover the secret of immortalizing those things that mean the world to us. And peradventure no feeling is as satisfying as that of looking forward to something with an assurance that you won’t be let down or disappointed. I hope that our scope and approach to life and conversations will be widened as we enjoy there pieces and the artists interpretation of them. Of course not withstanding that anyone is permitted to interpret my work in the best way they can relate to it. And as we engage with the artist’s mind, may we come to full understanding of the artist’s mind and do share in thought a world imagined in these creations.

Conversations Art Exhibition by Thabiso Dakamela