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One On One with Avhashoni Mainganye

2nd October 2006 | Other items by

Avhashoni is an inspiring, well read man who has witnessed many things in his life. He draws from all this experience to create beautiful art in many different mediums such as oil painting, sculpture, etching, collage and photography.

Avhashoni Mainganye, born in Phiphidi in Venda in 1957, spent time in the David Krut Print Workshop working on a series of etchings for an exhibition held at the David Krut Gallery in mid-October 2006. Avhashoni showed jointly with Sandile Zulu.
Bazukile Diko had a one-on-one question and answer session with Avhashoni at the David Krut Print Workshop.

BD:
How did your relationship with the David Krut Print Workshop come about?

AM:
In 2003 I became aware of the David Krut Arts Resource facility and I got talking to David and told him about my work back home in Venda and my desire to promote Venda art. David Krut offered me a chance to exhibit my work at his gallery. In that show I displayed some sculptures, linocuts and collages. Because of the small space I couldn’t bring in some of my bigger works.

BD:
What is it about working at the David Krut Print Workshop that keeps you coming back?

AM:
DKW offers me the space I need to be creative and I get a lot of input from the workshop team. They are my best choice for printmaking because they know what they are doing and I get the chance to experiment and learn new ways of printmaking.

BD:
How did the collaboration with Sandile Zulu originate?

AM:
The idea came from David Krut himself. He thought that it would be a great chance to exhibit the works of two artists who work in abstract. The idea was to have a show that is harmonious and has a common thread, that being abstract art. This show is going to be setting new standards artistically and visually.

BD:
Do you have a theme for the upcoming exhibition?

AM:
There is no theme for the show as Sandile didn’t feel that there was a need for one but I would say that my contribution will be about landmarks. I travel a lot and from the plane I see natural lines that are created by nature – the meandering of a river and all the other patterns of the land below – and I find myself inspired by the landmarks of our country and those of others like the Eiffel tower in Paris. I believe that we all undergo different journeys. These works will be a reflection of my own journeys.

BD:
There is a self-portrait that will be part of this show. Tell me a little about it.

AM:
I am revisiting some work I had to do for my final year at UNISA where a self-portrait was part of the work I had to submit. But this particular self-portrait came about when I was looking into a mirror here at David Krut and to kill some time I started sketching myself. It turned out so well that everyone felt it should be included. So I transferred the image to a copper plate and the printmaking process took over and another great piece was created.

BD:
How would you describe the art you create?

AM:
My art is like poetry, it’s like jazz. With poetry you can say a lot with few words and with jazz the melodious music complements the words. I believe my art is the same. It uses words and harmony in order to communicate with the audience.

BD:
It seems like you have a great love for poetry. Do you have a favourite poet?

AM:
If I want to find true poetry I must dig in the grave. One of the poets I admire is Ingwabele Madingwane, a protest activist and poet (“the Ghetto Voice”). His poem “Mother Spirit” was a great inspiration to me. I also have been writing poetry over the years and I have a lot of material. I am now considering publishing a book of my own poetry; I just don’t seem to find the time to sort out all the poetry I have written because it’s everywhere. I find myself writing on whatever surface is available to me at any particular time.

BD:
You run an art school in Venda. Are there any exciting plans you have planned for the future?

AM:
I want to have an end of year show for the students where the fourth years can get a chance to exhibit their works alongside my own. I have been running the school in such a way that we cover the basics of art and I hope to get more artists with skills to come to my school and impart these skills to young people who are in need of them.

BD:
What has kept you motivated during all these years, after all everyone knows selling art is not the easiest way to make a living?

AM:
I knew the poverty of art. I had read about Von Gogh so I always knew that I would have to work hard to make my art a success. In 1983 I went back to Venda after studying in Gauteng and I found the place had no movement, so I took it upon myself to organise a one man show in order to showcase my work. I had met many people in Johannesburg so I applied all the knowledge I had gleaned from the people I had come into contact with and my energy took care of the rest. Life and all it offers keeps me motivated and I believe that if one has belief in oneself and one never gives up then one can achieve success in what ever one chooses, even in the world of art.

His show with Sandile Zulu is bound to be interesting and ground-breaking.

One comment to “One On One with Avhashoni Mainganye”

  1. David Krut Print Workshop - Recent Work | David Krut Publishing and Arts Resource Says:

    […] Mainganye (Interview) Ellen Papciak-Rose Alastair Whitton Nathaniel Stern Bruce Backhouse Johan Engels Cyril Coetzee […]

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