Nokukhanya Langa

I work with abstraction because it is about the loss of the image, about losing the world and trying to construct it in another way. For me, it functions as a negation of representation that constantly leads to an unknown from which it, in a way, takes form again. When I start a painting, I don’t have any particular idea in mind other than that I will be making a painting. The steps I take - drawing, etching, painting, and then drawing again, are ways for me to focus on how my hands are working and the way they know how to paint, yet also leave room for surprises. Motifs such as repeated drawings, a stylized mouth, streaks, gestures, and text inform the appearance of my paintings. I sometimes draw, etch, or paint whatever drifts into my mind, often making it an intuitive process. I counterpose these abstractions with more pointed gestures – whether critical, humorous, or questioning – by working in an open and lucid manner. As such, they become carriers through which private histories, political and cultural undertones, allegories, subversive narratives, and humour reveal themselves.