WORDS Cheri Morris IMAGES courtesy of THK Gallery
Featuring the work of Julio Rizhi, Amanda Mushate, Pierre le Riche and Nonzuzo Gxekwa, at its core //thread‘s concept is one of “a restless search, an ever-wandering line” – one that joins the artists both conceptually and formally. From social commentary to experimental fabric use, //thread sees the artists forge multifaceted connections through the layering of concepts, materials and references.
Amanda Mushate is a Zimbabwean artist acclaimed for her sculpture painting and mixed media artworks. Her pieces are rooted in the search for and expression of identity. A continuation of her quest for meaning in a web of societal connections, Amanda’s featured works explore both the aesthetic qualities of thread and its abstract connotations to depict the complicated entanglement of the relationships that define us, and vice versa.
Pierre le Riche is a Cape Town-based conceptual artist renowned for his innovative use of string and textiles. In this exhibition, he uses thread to tell stories of connection, unravelling and space demarcation, weaving complex conversations that explore gender roles and liminal identities.
Julio Rizhi is a Zimbabwean experimental artist whose works narrate the link between consumption and its consequences through the socio-ethical prism of contemporary Zimbabwe. His enigmatically bright and bold sculptures also serve as metaphors for a better future promised but never delivered. In //thread, Julio’s works continue his dystopic commentary on environmental decay and the cost of living in a contemporary world.
Nonzuzo Gxekwa is a Johannesburg-based photographer with an approach that favours the subtle wonders of the everyday as opposed to the overtly spectacular, highlighting the beauties of life often overlooked. As an extension of //thread, Nonzuzo’s work features in a special collaboration with Pierre le Riche titled The Mask Project.
The Mask Project features six textile masks created by Pierre, which were in turn interpreted by Nonzuzo through photography. Through this project, which was created during lockdown, the artists want to communicate a message of hope and remind viewers of the resilience and creativity of the arts in Africa.