Acrylic on linen canvas with real earings 73 x 92 cm Year 2022 Influence : Flowers and the cherries from the South of France in Spring Produced in Mandelieu La Napoule, France during the Makwande Art Residecy
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Seoketsa’s residency begins with her seeking to expand her series ‘Amacici’, a Nguni word for ‘earrings’. The series aimed at exploring one of Seoketsa’s repressed childhood longings for adornment and beautification discouraged in her religious upbringing.
In dressing her expressionist characters with striking, larger-than-life accessories, she confronted the dogma of modesty and the patriarchal policing of women’s self-expression through dress. It was also an ode to the township women she grew up admiring, who despite unimaginable challenges, asserted their inherent dignity and identity through personal style. This work, transplanted into the French Mediterranean context, takes to new depths.
Many women in developing nations have little respite from the demands of life, making simple pleasures a luxury. She observes from coastal French women the daily practice of gathering beauty and joy, of investing in ease and rest. Their essence and confident translation of personality into dress and jewellery, inspires the evolution of her abstract female form. What began as portraits in ‘Ámacici’ evolves into fully formed, bold, black figures, dressed in luxurious colours. ‘’I wanted to memorialise black women, such as my mother, in contexts of ease and leisure. I wanted to place black bodies in an environment of abundance and softness. Their aura and postures are a nod to Malik Sidibe’s photography.’ Seokesta says.
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