Absa hosted a virtual dialogue on their Art Hotspot platform to launch the debut solo exhibition by talented amateur artist and senior Absa executive, Karin Mathebula.

Mathebula, who heads Product, Sales and Service Enablement at Absa Relationship Banking, finds her inspiration in the South African landscape. Her exhibition entitled “Fusion of Hues” is a collection that walks viewers through the landscapes of her youth, showcasing nature’s most brilliant and vivid colours. Juggling a challenging corporate career, Mathebula spent just over two years completing the 17 canvasses of her first art exhibition.

With this exhibition, Mathebula explored the themes of still life, beach and mountains. “I am inspired by the environment where I grew up, the sites and smells of the Underberg region of the southern Drakenberg. Even in the most barren landscape lies beauty. If you look closely, you will always find colour and texture, and that is the beauty of life. Sometimes there are patterns that are not recognisable, but if you look closely, you will see beauty,” she said.

Beach life (2020), Oil on canvas, 77 x 102cm, R10 000

During the virtual dialogue, hosted by Absa Senior Specialist Art Curator Dr Paul Bayliss, Mathebula shared her excitement about the new journey and mentioned that it has been a life-long dream of hers to be recognised as an artist. “I have been painting all my life. It’s a place I go to for refuge, to express myself and to see things in perspective,” she said.

Under the baobabs (2020), Oil on canvas, 122 x 92cm, R13 000

Absa is committed to bringing possibility to life by celebrating visual artists of all levels and backgrounds from across the African continent. “With this exhibition, we are now also bringing Karin’s possibility to life, by recognising and celebrating her unique style and skill,” stated Bayliss.

He was introduced to Mathebula in 2019 by Arrie Rautenbach, who heads the bank’s Retail and Business banking division, whilst attending Absa’s annual Champagne Festival. Bayliss immediately recognised the potential in her work and after paying a visit to her home studio, suggested the possibility of staging a solo exhibition.

I was suitably impressed. The themes that run through Karin’s artwork capture the beauty and essence of the South African landscape. Karin has a very keen eye and her distinct use of colour, texture and shapes, bring her work to life,” he said. Despite challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bayliss and his team worked alongside Mathebula to curate her exhibition and realise her dream.

Pears in glass bowl (2019), Oil on canvas, 61 x 77cm, R7 500

With the pandemic altering our lives irreversibly, the so-called “passion economy”, where people monetize individuality and creativity, is fast gaining momentum across the globe. “Whether it’s playing video games, running online yoga classes, or selling niche fashion items, people are increasingly making a living by doing the things they love. Reinvent yourself, even if it means switching to a career path that gives you what you need. It’s never too late,” stated Mathebula.

Absa is a purpose-led organisation and it is our wish that everyone who experiences her art will come to understand what “following your passion” is all about,” concluded Bayliss.

The virtual exhibition runs until 25 August 2021.

To visit the Absa Art Hot Spot platform, click here.
To view Mathebula’s collection on the Absa Art Hot Spot, click here: Karin Mathebula Solo Exhibition | Virtual Gallery (

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