34 year old Installation artist Setlamorago Mashilo is a trained visual artist who lives and works in Pretoria. He graduated High School in 2005 and his development as an artist was profoundly influenced by his introduction to postmodern theory and his Sepedi upbringing. Mashilo works in various media including drawing, sculpture and printmaking.
I employ the use of 'dika le diema' (Sepedi Proverbs and Idioms) which incorporate objects, images, stories and songs inherited from my collective Sepedi upbringing. As a result, I unpack my own spiritual and psychological connections with these established systems of thought or ideologies and how they still condition our contemporary lives – the very same systems created by previous generations to secure our being and give them what we/they seek from life.
What takes place in my work is a strange monologue – recited, sung – scenes and acts that are eerily fateful and transcendent, stories that resonate individually and collectively about our sense of loss, nostalgia and inherited memories and the future. My work becomes one form of me talking about how the values of our societies are deeply encoded in these stories and how that extrapolates into the communities we grow up in.