Our neighbourhoods, our townships, our urban areas bustle with talent. Some of this talent will sprout on fertile soil that has readily available resources that will help nurture it to reach its full genius through access to academic training. But some of this talent will fall on barren soil with no potential for survival due to lack of financial nurturing, however because within those unfortunate seeds lurks innate survival drive, the inevitable drop of water or treatment of that barren soil that imbibe the environment with fertility; with potentiality for growth and development can help unlock the talent.
Such a change of prospect privileges the world to have the chance to come into contact with the innate creative force that battle the odds to emerge victorious as it speaks the gospel of art through form, colour, line and volume witnessed in the art object that grapples with the issues of the artists time; personal or worldly. Unlike his contemporaries Tshepo DD Maponyane developed from a barren environment that I have hitherto referred to and claimed his place within the contemporary art scene in South Africa.
The aim of this essay is to trace the development of the career of Tshepo DD Maponyane based on an extensive interview that I conducted with him in 2011 shortly after his return from Bali. Already at that time plans were underway to mount an exhibition of his work at the Pretoria Art Museum to afford his home town to his oeuvre in one space. It is my hope that the reader will come to realise the conditions within which this artist has emerged. The critical assessment of the work of the artist is not part of the current essay but will form part of a separate essay entitled ‘Self Introspection – A critical assessment’ therein his visual art output selected for his solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum will be discussed.