Thabo Lukhele

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Thabo is from the small town of Mankayane located in the Manzini district of the Kingdom of eSwatini formally known as Swaziland. The landlocked country sits between Mozambique and South Africa and is filled with activities for all.  An atmosphere that’s personable and relaxed, many from around the world come for the National Parks, but the locals and Africans throughout the continent visit for one of the biggest festivals of the year – the Umhlanga or Reed Dance ceremony.  The eight-day event takes place at the royal palace and is a rite of passage filled with music, dancing, and singing.

Before many learned to ride a bike, Thabo was already working to improve his craft and exploring mediums like clay, drawings, and metal work which influenced his current style.  Professionally trained in Fine Arts and Ceramics, however he continues to explore new styles like blending, textures and the strength of color to emphasize stories. These techniques organically progressed his works towards abstracts and landscapes. Through the use of acrylics, Thabo balances color that formulates textures and depth with a focus on mood.

In his own words: “I was raised in a farming township filled with pineapple plantations and processing plants. Most of the people here are employed to work the field or process the fruit into juice or jam. My father was one of those employees and it was almost natural for me to join him.   I chose a different path and decided to pursue art. During my studies I discovered that art was in almost everything we do in society.  Beyond  paintings and sculptures, I was awakened to art in clothing, accessories, technology, and almost everything we use daily.  With this new perspective, I looked to capture and present aspects of life’s daily routine. Instead of painting to be unique, I create to be artistic. I’m influenced by society and the outward emotions people express.  Ironically, I feel it’s a mirror effect at times.  When I see people happy it makes me happy as well.  Ultimately, I just look to have fun!”


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