FINE ART STUDENT CARVES A BRIGHTER FUTURE THROUGH ARTWORK
By: Mondli Ngubane
Every artist has a unique interpretation of their craft, but not every art has a spiritual background attached to its success.
The most humble beings in the world are the ones that let their talent speak volumes. Eugene Hlophe, a Bachelor of Technology student in Fine Art is becoming prominent and well-
recognised with his untitled art work.
His love for art grew when he was still a young boy. His skills were the only thing that granted him the opportunity to sit and express himself. Hlophe learnt from his own
experiences that success is not lenient.
“I remember the first sculpture I made, it was the best thing I had ever done in my life.
From that day I never stopped. I practiced until I got to understand myself and mastered my craft,” said Hlophe.
The Durban University of Technology (DUT) recently opened the Art of Human Rights (AHR) collection exhibition at the university’s Art Gallery, at Steve Biko Campus.
The AHR Collection is made up of reflections of South African artists and poets on the SA Bill of Rights (THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! REPHRASE). The artwork, which is on
view at the art gallery, includes contributions from well-known South African artists and poets such as Judith Mason, Nomusa Makhubu, Andries Botha and others.
The exhibition consisted of a competition where one of the five emerging artists stood a chance to win a cash prize of R2 500. The first prize was won by Eugene Hlophe.
His hanging art piece at the art gallery speaks about being a refugee in another country.
Even though Hlophe’s art requires a lot of physical strength, he feels that without mental stability most of his work wouldn’t exist or be satisfying enough to put up for exhibition.
“When I did my piece in the beginning of 2015, I did not know that later on it will speak in volumes with regards to what is happening in society.
The timing was perfect with the recent xenophobic attacks.
In my work, I try to reflect how when we engage in acts of violence amongst one another we actually trample each other’s rights. I also try to show society the
implications of their wrong doing,” said Hlophe.
“Knowledge through interaction with a diverse group of people diverging in geo-political, social and racial backgrounds. I aim to expose my work to a global audience and share his
skills,” he added.
The biggest sculpture that Hlophe has made took him six months to carve.
His currentcollection’s prizes range from R300 to R8 000. The prices are usually determined by the type of material used, what it resembles, the size and expenditure. He believes that talent is
nothing without skill and that loafers are mostly products of choice.
“The mind brews and harbours all ideas but the hands give birth to the reality we feed from.
I always encourage the young to always improve their handwork. Art is an amazing world, but one that is realized only through hard work, “said Hlophe.
Exhibiting in such places doesn’t automatically secure him buyers but Hlophe says his showcase is not always about selling.
“I understand that not everyone that stops by a gallery or passes by my stall at a festival will buy something. Appreciation of my work is most vital to me. You cannot buy that,” said
Apart from supplying selected art to Durban art galleries, he’s also pushing to export his work to galleries and private collectors abroad.