Dimakatso Mathopa

afronova gallery dimakatso mathopa Individual Beings Relocated III

Individual Beings Relocated I, Cyanotype Print on Fabriano Artistico Cotton Paper, 2017, EV 5

Born in Mpumalanga in 1995. Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mathopa’s interest in printmaking techniques such as Van Dyke Brown and silkscreen led to her discovery of the Cyanotype process, an old photographic printing process that produces a monochrome cyan-blue prints. Mathopa has been transforming her concept- photographs into cyanotype prints and began her recent ongoing series, Individual Beings Relocated.

Individual Beings Relocated (IBR), is an on-going process of revealing the truth and reconciling with a narrative that was passed on to the artist by her late grandmother: the story of a legacy and an inheritance of land. If Mathopa’s story seems unique, Relocation is actually a shared narrative amongst the Black South Africans. In IBR, Mathopa references her maternal grandparents’ loss of the family home and the consequential break in generational inheritance of (and connection to) land. The only remaining evidence of this family narrative is through the artist’s late- grandmother’s embodied knowledge, passed down through oral transmission. IBR is the development of Mathopa’s family’s legacy. A history with no physical evidences, nor photographs.

IBR ​aims to deconstruct and ​reconstruct how colonialism has historically shaped ​the representations of a black woman. Photographing herself in a ‘colonial space’, ​perform​ing​ the role of the ‘black subject’ using her semi-naked body​ and ​transforming the photographic images into cyanotype prints​ ​allow her to redeem her own personal narratives​ and tell the stories of these Individual beings relocated.

Mathopa is now exploring potential with monotypes, printmaking made by drawing or painting and also with the acetate medium.

Mathopa was one of the finalists for the prestigious Norval Sovereign African Art Prize. Her work was featured at the African Photo Biennial in Spain, Vogue Photo Festival, Paris Photo, ARCO, and AKAA.  Mathopa won critical acclaim internationally through art fairs and shows and her work is part of important collections in Europe and in the US.