Somewhere between the figurative and the abstract, Diseko uses contour lines to create images that connect the human form to the terrain they inhabit. Fluid lines come and go, forming translucid people, landscapes and the stories that develop between them.
Diseko is seized by environmental psychology, i.e. the interplay between human beings and their environment, and how it imprints itself on history and art. She draws inspiration from societal events in South Africa, faith, as well as the eternal conundrums of life.
“Putting myself in a different space, be it by reading a book or interacting with people down the road, sparks inspiration” (Boitumelo Diseko)
Kgosigadi means Queen in the Setswana language. Queen Mmanthatisi ruled the Batswana tribe, at the time over 40,000 people, in South Africa in the 19th century. She was known for her excellent leadership and bravery. The Tswanas moved from different parts of Africa down south to Botswana and South Africa, thus the different colours on the Queen’s face.
Origin is about Belgian Congo, shown on the old map in the background. King Leopold II is in the centre of the artwork collecting profits stolen from the territory.
The Belgian Congo was a colony in central Africa from 1908 until its independence in 1960. The artwork is a documentation of the atrocities that took place during that time to maximise profit for the Belgian king. Foreign companies exploited natural resources such as rubber and ivory in complete lawlessness. There was a sharp decline in the Congolese population due to forced labour, mutilation and murder of the indigenous population.
The artwork is about how the female body is objectified in our society. This contributes to mental health problems that affect women such as eating disorders and depression.
It is also the reason for sexual assaults on women, thus there are black creatures in the background. Tshaba is a Setswana word for ‘run’, to encourage women to not fall in the trap of objectifying themselves which results in unhappiness with their body.
This artwork was created during the first weeks of being on lockdown and in isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The artwork is a visual expression of my emotions. Not being able to go to work or anywhere besides buying food puts a strain on one’s mind. The environment plays a huge role in one’s mental well-being.
Hosea is a name of a Biblical character. The story is there to inspire people that whatever their going through God’s grace and love is sufficient to carry them through it all. The figure in the foreground of the artwork has lost most of his belongings and some of his family members. As humans we cannot escape tragedy, but we know though that we aren’t alone irrespective of where we come from.
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