setlamarogo mashilo far away from progress ink and charcoal on fabriano paper 80 x 122 cm gkac

Apr 24 – May 31, 2020

Visions of the interior

Whilst we ardently worship at the altar of productivity and so readily mistake busyness for effectiveness, we sometimes find ourselves stranded, alone, advancing every day towards a goal with which we are unacquainted.  This is by no means an unusual story right now but what he has done with his time is to create some extraordinary things. Setlamorago Mashilo has made a series of large works on paper: landscapes in monochrome of the plains and farms of the dry interior of our country. These empty spaces with pale skies are more than austere and elegant studies, they are metaphors for loneliness and loss, they yearn for open air and freedom, and the choices one took for granted and which are now  denied us. They are glimpses of our future and of our present. He states “…that we are at a crossroads and we have a responsibility that we can’t avoid, but it is vague as to where the road will lead us.” : and “… what might we discover if we were to use as a tool not only our intellect, but also our hearts …” The words are tentative but the vision is clear and reinforced by the titles in Sepedi “…which is incredibly poetic. The language is essentially a metaphor and to an extent a cautionary tale for me...” (Mashilo, April 2020)

These works are a “land claim” by someone dispossessed not only by history but also by a virus- let us hope that soon the road to the future can be reclaimed.