1.Who is Qhama Maswana and what do you do?
Im a 24-year-old University of Fort Hare fine art graduate, from King Williams Town (Eastern Cape) South Africa. I am one curious artist who’s always eager to learn and know more about the lifestyle of others in different environments.
2.Tell us about your work?
As an artist, i work hard to develop paintings that speak both to me and to others about the beauty that exists in the continent of Africa. Part of my process before i begin painting is to do more research and read as much as i can about the specific theme i am about to recreate on canvas, I merely want to capture the image with my brush, I want to give that society life once more .
The aim for my art is to engage the viewer with the traditions and beauty of black people’s culture in South Africa as it has a modern approach which is meant to take the viewer through the daily life of black Africans. I try with every finished work to breathe life into a long forgotten culture, so that its design, ideas, innovations and lifestyle are displayed on my canvas.
I wish to educate the viewer of my work by taking advantage of the opportunity without the viewer knowing they are being educated also through research i place the subject in my own setting than in real life, Exaggerated or enhanced color is another way to make the subject stand out because it draws interest by the viewer. i do this by splashing and blending colors in the background of a painting to add accent or draw the viewer’s eye. This is why my body of art work is very colorful and detailed to show the often missed subjects we miss in the blink of an eye.
My artwork speaks, not only for me but for people who were long gone silenced.
3.What inspires your work?
My work is slightly different from other artists as it has a cultural feel with a modern and more colourful approach. Inspired by my background of being raised in rural areas by both parents who respected their culture and customs, and by Nature and its beauty that surrounds us .
But my work is mostly inspired by Africa. The Dark Continent is actually the beaming light guiding this godforsaken planet, and we as artists have a honourable duty to represent its greatness, The beautiful people, their amazing skin tone, their full lip and thick hair im inspired by the strength of the people and i see royalty in all of them. I want my work to show that we are descendants of royalty and that we are all kings and queens.
4.What are you currently working on?
Currently im working on a project titled “Que’s fun art project” where i will be leaving behind a piece of artwork everywhere i go, which will give people an opportunity to own a signed piece of my artwork for free. I am also working on other themes to help combine my portfolio and on getting spaces to exhibit my work.
5.What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Never stop creating and to make use of their resources but most of all, trust in God and don’t wait for something you don’t have in order to make a move, working with what you have is always the best. It gets you one step further to achieving your goals and the best thing to do is to follow your heart.
6.What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
My best highlight was when I was recently commissioned to do a portrait of Doctor Mangosuthu Buthelezi for the Fort Hare University Centenary celebration. I was one of the artists chosen to display on the “Arts on the lain” in opening of the Yours in beauty Shop in East London and im also part of the featured artists in the Vuka Darkie magazine issue 8 that will be out on the 4th April.
7.Where can our readers follow your work?
Facebook; Qhama Maswana-Art
Instagram; que_maswana / #QUESART