“I work intently to produce work that successfully conveys issues around beauty and other struggles witnessed on the continent, drawing inspiration from my surroundings and people I interact with – I focus on articulating the beauty and the strength they possess. The people depicted in my work often come from economically depressed communities, so I paint their skin with purple hues, because purple is often associated with royalty, luxury, and power - it also represents meanings of wealth, creativity, wisdom, dignity, and magic. I see it as my duty as an artist who grew up in those spaces to recreate the image of these bodies in a new light, one that portrays the royalty I see inside of them.” Qhamanande is a young artist whose painted portraits speak to the beauty, life challenges and spirituality in Africa. Born in King William’s Town, Eastern Cape, Qhama studied art at Lovedale College and then obtained a Diploma in Fine Art from the University of Fort Hare, Alice, in 2015. He was commissioned to produce work for the university’s centenary celebration, and worked at the Steve Biko Foundation as volunteer. With detailed brushwork, he combines acrylic and oil paints and creates striking imagery, imparting hidden folklore and culture religion on viewers, but with a modern and colourful aspect. As an African, he wants his work to show the strength of his people and their descendancy from royalty. Maswana draws from his rural upbringing and respect shown to culture, customs and nature and describes his aim with art is to ‘breathe life into a long-forgotten past’. He has showcased his artworks at group exhibitions at The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Port Elizabeth, Ann Bryant Art Gallery in East London, Galerie NOKO in Port Elizabeth, The National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Eclectica Design Art in Cape Town and MMart House in Johannesburg, to name a few. “Qhama Maswana draws inspiration from his surroundings and people articulating the beauty and strength they possess and often show people caught in a particular moment.” - Hanneke Benade, Artist Mentor
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