A3E Artist Profile: Dimakatso Mathopa

10and5 is dedicated to bringing you talent from across the South African creative industry by providing a platform for emerging creatives to showcase their work to a wider audience. Driven by this dedication, we have put together a new initiative, the Artist Acceleration and Exposure Programme (A3E), which aims to upskill emerging artists across South Africa, offers a platform for talented artists to reach new markets, and helps them break into the art scene.

A3E artist, Dimakatso Mathopa is currently studying visual arts at the University of Johannesburg, she also dabbles in photography, an art form she has been practicing since high school. Drawing inspiration from cartoon characters she came across on a regular basis.

Mathopa’s passion for art began in her primary school years – being surrounded by her two brothers who showed more interest in art than she did. The impact of dwelling in such an environment created, within her, a desire to explore art.

Her work is inspired by the idea of individualism within the context of African society; the ways in which one’s opinion of who they really are effects or construct a character within a broad context of African culture, tradition, racial issues, gender issues and stereotypes. Mathopa strongly believes that Africa is rich in culture, tradition, language, and beliefs and that these are some of the few things that make us African and stand out from the rest of the world.

Mathopa’s work is a reflection of her belief that we aren’t black, she desires the concept of African, rather than the concept of black. “Black diminishes the information of an African, but rather implants information of a black person, that was made in Africa. Black creates stereotypes and circumstances of who an individual from the continent Africa is. Black portrays a sense of vulnerability and inferiority within every other person who is a black person,” she states.

In addition, her work, apart from its concept, is a process – a process where information is absorbed and unconsciously reflected.

“I being the African involved in the creation of the works, is fascinated by the evolving of the African context. And with a hope to understand me as an African, to educate fellow Africans through the idea of an African, rather than the construction of a black person.” – Mathopa.

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