Norval Foundation presents through March 20, 2023 “Lewatle”, an independent exhibition by Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022 recipient artist Bonolo Kavula.
Bonolo Kavula, born in 1992, is a South African printmaker who lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. In the spring of 2021, Kavula had his most memorable independent exhibition at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa, before winning the inaugural NSAAP award.
Bonolo Kavula exhibited a group of works in December 2021 titled “a re kopane ko thabeng,” a Setswana phrase that translates into English as “let’s meet at the mountain.” The title of this group refers to the mountain as a sacred meeting place, thus saturating the artist’s theoretical work with profound meaning.
It was with his work Tswelopele created in 2021 that Bonolo Kavula began to clearly emphasize mathematical forms and play with color in his practice.
The exhibition “Lewatle” uses the sea as a saying, with its potential figurative, reasonable and visual results. Bonolo Kavula’s visual language, introduced in the world of printmaking, is represented by the careful positioning of round plates, precisely cut from a lushly hued texture, on intersecting lines of string.
Bonolo Kavula creates masterpieces of moderate materials, determined in their construction, but natural in their flow and finish. The most common way of making her works is to use wooden envelopes to attach lines of string in frames that hold the round plates to be fixed with sticks.
In this way she creates mathematical examples of colored fields and open spaces – a cycle involving reiteration in motion that Bonolo Kavula has depicted as reflective.
The lattices are frequently removed from their wooden edges and hung on the wall. In his exhibition at the Norval Foundation, Bonolo Kavula uses the subjects evoked by the sea to further investigate the potential results of scale, development and presence, to some extent through trial and error with various hanging techniques.
From his earliest works to the present, Bonolo Kavula’s art lies between the intersections of painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture, pushing the boundaries of each while summoning social, familial, chronic and historical meanings.
Her work can be compared to a kind of composition in which objects used by individuals are welcomed before our eyes or made available to all in a way that makes us think again and consider human presence and non-appearance.
Although theoretical in nature, these works are not bound to strictly formal readings
Although theoretical in nature, these works are not tied to strictly formalist readings but rather address philosophical, phonetic, logical and supernatural thoughts.
Bonolo Kavula through his exhibition “Lewatle” deepens the themes explored in previous exhibitions while alluding to the sea as an otherworldly place – a position of purging, reclaiming and associating, his approach to opening up new avenues for reading his work.