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Goodwood artist recognised

Patrick Tankama, who stays in Goodwood, is one of 21 emerging artists from around the city who was afforded the opportunity to showcase his work at the award-winning Zeitz Mocaa art gallery which is located at the V&A Waterfront.

This comes after the artists responded to a call made earlier this year to apply to the City of Cape Town’s Emerging Artists Programme.

The exhibition ran from Tuesday 2 July until Friday 5 July.

Tankama (43) told TygerBurger he has always been passionate about art. “I was born in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). My father was an artist and poet so my interest in literature and art stems from a very young age.

“During my high school years I excelled in science and mathematics, but my interests remained with art. Upon applying for my studies after school, I wanted to go into philosophy and art, but my father wanted me to do engineering. I obtained an engineering degree at the University of Lubumbashi before moving to Kinshasa where I studied architecture and painting.”

He said he wants his work to bring about a disruption in the representation of Africa. “The manner in which the continent has been depicted has been clichéd for a very long time and was created by colonialism and its corollary. Those representations tend to portray us as a culture that is stuck in the past and designed for exportation, denying what we have become. I would like my work to portray to embrace our urban conception of space and time, in a dynamic cultural time-frame.” Tamkama’s sources of inspiration are fashion, architecture and design. He said his mode of work is like that of a graphic designer. “This is the reason why I choose to create paper cutting artwork and collages. From time to time I do use oil paint and mixed media as well.”

He uses bright colours, mainly primary colours, which evoke emotions of joy in the same way that baby toys do. “I have also started to use brown and darkish colours, from the black skin tone of my characters. My work is part of a body entitled ‘Anatomy’ and it aims to represent the dynamics of the human postures, more specifically the female anatomy.

I make use of the low angle perspective to convey a sense of monumentality to my figures. To add more depth to my work, I create a narrative to link it to literature, history and politics.”

The Mayco member for community services, Zahid Badroodien, said the four-week programme was structured around a series of workshops, excursions and an exhibition of the artists’ work which is entitled This is Me: A right of passage.

“The exhibition gives participants an opportunity to showcase their work and what they have learned. During the early stages of their careers, artists often face financial stress and struggle to access resources. This programme has given artists the necessary tools and the practical skills to help them leverage opportunities. After the exhibition at Zeitz Mocaa, the exhibition will be moved to a number of other venues to expand the artists’ exposure including at First Thursday events,” said Badroodien.

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