Mikondzo ya Vakokwani (The Ancestors’ Footsteps) is the first solo exhibition by the artist Theophelus Rikhotso. The exhibition features a series of works which include sculptures, paintings and drawings produced during his 2023 Kopanong Art Residency Programme at the Pretoria Art Museum.
This body of work reflects the artist’s intentions to ponder on the struggles, knowledge and wisdom of the Vakokwani (the ancestors). Through the exploration of both personal and communal experiences and memories viewed through the cultural lens of Vatsonga mythologies, folklore and proverbs, Rikhotso situates the connection and the ternary relationship of past, present and future. The body of work operates as the acknowledgment that the artist senses of being anchored by those who came before him; teachers, elders and mentors whose footsteps provided a sense of direction and those who in the present act as guides into new directions.
Although the exhibition is an invitation into the artist’s subjective viewpoint, the artist hopes that the work will encourage the members of the viewing public to reflect on their own personal intersection between individual-communal and past-present-future experiences.
About the artist
Theophelus Rikhotso is a Tshwane based multidisciplinary artist who works in mediums such as sculpture, installation, painting and drawing. His work largely reflects on memories, thoughts, everyday life experiences, cultural identity and sociopolitical issues in contemporary South Africa. As a visual intellectual, his work is aimed at stimulating thoughtful provocation and engagement with the viewing public through the use of symbols and metaphors. His visual vocabulary predominantly features