#ArtistAppreciation: Bambo Sibiya The Reflection Of Gerard Sekoto


By Katekani Shivambu

Sibiya is a contemporary fine artist from KwaThema,Springs East of Johannesburg. He was trained and worked at the Artist Proof Studio (APS) Gallery, working on large scale linocuts for several leading artists, including William Kentridge, Diane Victor, Norman Catherine and Colbert Mashile.

Rich stylistic detail and textures mark Bambo Sibiya’s linocuts, drypoint and lithographic works, which give insight into masculine identity and community on the streets of Johannesburg. Bambo was a finalist in the ABSA L'Atelier awards and winner of the Gerard Sekoto Award. His work is the reflection of Gerard Sekoto in the new South Africa, an expression of real community struggles through his paintings. 

His exhibitions include 

2018  ‘Izikhali ze Mpilo’: Solo Exhibition, Jack Bell Gallery, London

2018  1:54 Art Fair, Jack Bell Gallery, New York

2017  ‘Ubuntu Ngabantu’: Solo Exhibition, Jack Bell Gallery, London

Drawing on traditional printmaking techniques, Bambo Sibiya works with acrylic and charcoal on canvas. His work centres around the spirit of ‘Ubuntu Ngabantu’, a term deriving from Zulu philosophy and translating roughly as ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. His series focuses on early township life and the subcultural movement in the mining industry. During apartheid, many young men and women relocated from rural areas to urban Johannesburg in search of a better life. This period was characterised by a huge adversity for Black Africans, who, in addition to oppression at the hands of white power, were forced to negotiate major social and domestic upheaval. What captures Sibya’s attention about this period is how these subcultures were kept alive, providing armoury to the inequities of the day.

2017  ‘Tales of Migration’: Solo Exhibition, Red Room Gallery, Cape
Town

2017  1:54 Art Fair, Jack Bell Gallery, London

2017: 10th Print Triennial, Chamalières, France

2016: Douro Print Biennial, Portugal

2016  Art Exchange: Querètaro, Galeria Municipal and Taller Tamayo, Oaxaca, Mexico

2015: 7th International Lithographic Symposium, Tidaholm, Sweden

2013  ‘Khumbula Ekhaya (Home Sick)’, Gallery 2, Johannesburg

2013  ‘Human Spirit’, ABSA Art Gallery, Johannesburg

Bambo Sibiya’s work is one to be appreciated as it is timeless and authentic, he creates genuine masterpieces that will live on forever and later become pieces of art learning on the challenges of south african township culture. 

-JP

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