Rudolph Tshie

Mebarakeng (The Market) (Oil on canvas, 117 x 193 cm)

Mebarakeng (The Market) (Oil on canvas, 117 x 193 cm)

Artist's Statement

Farm workers have had the toughest time of their lives. This time round they have been part of a re-distribution of land system. Some are now farming their own crops while others are still working as farm labourers where they learn from their employers. Workers are embarking on a silent gathering with their foreman, under the power lines and a powerful sunset. The crowd has gathered to address their foreman on how they just can’t tolerate the horrible soup brought to them every now and then as it often causes their stomachs to run. They also can’t cope anymore with being picked up at unnegotiated times as they have families and other things to sort out back home. From the drop zones, some must still catch trains, taxis and buses or travel by foot to reach their homes. Mebarakeng is where people get together to buy fruit and vegetables to eat and to sell back at home to make a living, or to pick up decayed fruit or seeds to plant in their own gardens at home or to eat and sell as well. Other reasons for gathering would possibly be job-seeking and, after all, relaxing for a day out in the market.

Artist's Biography

Born: Soshanguve, 1969. Lives and works in Soshanguve. Received his Certificate in Fine Arts from the Federated Union of Black Arts; Studied ceramic and paper making at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. Major exhibitions: 10th Annual VUKANI Fashion Awards and Fair; Greatmore Studios; Alliance Francaise, Mauritius; AVA gallery, Cape Town. Awards and scholarships: FUBA bursary; Selected best painter at the FUBA; Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Fine Arts Awards (Certificate).