An interview with Restone Maambo 22.01.2018

Gallery One11 chats to Restone Maambo in amidst of paper, canvases and paintbrushes in his temporary studio space at Side Street Studios. The Artist has been in production for 2 months creating an intimate body of work reflecting the Contemporary Sangoma- often reflected as the Matriarchal Woman carrying tradition and spiritual beliefs through local communities. 

One11: Tell us about your career, when did your career as an Artist begin?

RM: Professionally I can say it started in Livingstone, but I grew up as an Artist. I use to work with a lot of charcoal as well as crayons as a child. I was very active, I always too much for my Mum to handle so I just use to sit and draw in books and on paper. I use to illustrate cartoons mostly but was attracted by characters I saw n movies and that I could replicate from memory. 

One11 : Your work has has developed over the last 2 years, specifically we see more collage intergration and more mixed media intergration streeing from realism. Do you feel as if your methods have changed and how so? 

RM : I use to work with collage earlier in my career, it’s just a different approach I am utilizing now. I was just experimenting in studio and I accidentally peeled off one of the areas of paper I had already painted on and I liked the effects that were on that piece of that paper and what is left behind. Also I like the way acrylic dries on plastic, it’s easy to peel off that paint and I could see that there is always some beautiful areas that you create by experimenting. Using the paper is much easier to manipulate and you can tear it around and play with it. Collage is a technique that I have found to be more different. I was encouraged to do this from my time at Ruth Prowse. When you are an artist and you place yourself in a situation where you have to respond to what your work is saying, it’s a relationship between you and your work. I always try to respond to what my works are saying to me. 

One 11: Do you foresee any new methodologies being incorporated into your practice in the near future after your next upcoming projects?

RM: Nowadays it is so fascinating how we can utilize unusual materials to create something new, people’s imagination and creativity is just something that is so unpredictable sometimes, that is what we are looking for is to come across an everyday object and find a means to use it in a new way. There is much more techniques and methodologies in times to come, I look at the work of Abrahim (Mahama)  and how he works with the sacks, it’s something that I never thought anybody could create high valued work out of those. So to me that is how an Artist tests their ability. Next for me I hope to create large scaled installation. It will definitely be large scaled installative painting and am decided on the mediums. 

One11 : What is it about the Feminie and the Divine that you feel the need to reflect in your works?

RM : I am surrounded by women, but it’s much more than that I notice that as an Artist and it holds symbol and we can see far back in history of how women have been side lined and subjected. Painting these subjects encourages others to view the female in a new light. I am also from Christian and cultural back rounds and I hold certain beliefs about the female. In the scriptures when God speaks, he speaks of Isreal being a Woman. When He speaks of the Children of Isreal, it’s a symbolic figure.


Event Link:

'Kusololwa Amumuni: To Be Led By Light' a solo exhibition by Restone Maambo. 25 January - 24 February 2018. 

111 Loop Street Cape Town 8000.