Thato Tlatsi - Shadow Work I

Artist’s Statement

My work is mostly centred around personal experiences as a black female not only living in South Africa but a black female existing. When conceptualising my work, I often look inward instead of outwards for inspiration or new ideas. I look at black femininity, sexuality and body images. Exploring the agony and beauty of what it feels like to exist, and what it means to have ‘free will’. I explore these questions in my creative practice through paint, sculpture, photography and drawing. Currently, I am more interested in exploring mark-making in charcoal and ink on canvas. I find these media fascinating – the way they behave on the surface of the canvas which reminds me of human skin. Wet ink reminds me of the fluidity and unpredictability of life. You can never control how it will respond to canvas. You can only work with the marks left, just like life. It is all about how you respond and interpret them.

BIOGRAPHY

Tshegofatso Tlatsi (b. 1999), is a visual artist from Johannesburg. Tlatsi received a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg in 2022. She is currently based in Roodepoort, South Africa. Tlatsi specializes in drawing and painting, using mainly ink, charcoal, chalk and acrylic on canvas. Tlatsi’s work is informed by her personal experiences and often explores themes related to chaos, death, sexuality, mental health and the intersectionality of it all. “My work is mostly centred around personal experiences as a black female not only living in South Africa but a black female existing. When conceptualising my work, I often look inward instead of outwards for inspiration or new ideas. I look at black femininity, sexuality and body images. Exploring the agony and beauty of what it feels like to exist, and what it means to have free will.” Tlatsi explore these questions in her creative practice through paint, sculpture, photography and drawing. The artist is currently more interested in exploring mark-making in charcoal and ink on canvas - the way they behave on the surface of the canvas which reminds her of human skin. Wet ink reminds the artist of the fluidity and unpredictability of life, you can never control how it will respond to canvas - you can only work with the marks that is left. It is all about how you respond and interpret them to her.

  • Thato Tlatsi - Shadow Work I
  • 2023
  • Ink, charcoal, and acrylic on raw canvas
  • 139.5 x 96 centimeters
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