A trio of the finest local visual artists came together on beast mode to create a mural painting at Molapo Piazza which is captivating art lovers.
The artists are Khwezi Mphatlalatsane, Morekolodi ‘Rexx’ Mautle, and Fifi Wale.
Rexx said they did the artwork in partnership with a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) called Infers Group. The organisation specialises in simplifying scientific findings to the community. This time they incorporated local visual artists to come up with a mural based on health issues like mental health, hypertension and HIV/AIDS.
Rexx worked on mental health, Khwezi on hypertension and Fifi on HIV/AIDS. With approximately five days spent on the painting, the artists had also spent days with scientists to learn more about the health issues that they were challenged to depict.
When explaining the artwork that he made Rexx described how he wanted to capture depression and anxiety. “When you look at the painting I made you can see that the person’s world is broken as shown by the torn earth in the lower corner. Although he wears a smiling face, it is just a mask with a crack in it, hiding his true feelings,” he said.
He said his painting depicts how someone with depression goes on a path to self-medicate by using cigarettes and pills to try and make himself feel better. According to him, the sunflower in his painting depicts the healing that nature can bring in dealing with depression like taking a walk outside while the rocket shoes show that despite the struggles someone is always trying to lift himself up.
Khwezi’s residency was on hypertension, and wanted to show the agony of someone who is not taking care of their hearts, which then eventually leads to hypertension. The main picture shows of someone bent over clutching his heart, depicting the agony that comes with it.
“The blue colour represents the mood of the topic, which is cold. The exaggerated hearts represents the fact that hypertension leads to heart problems, and the ECG lines show the distress the heart is in; eventually leading the person to the flat line which symbolises death,” he said. He said the fact that the picture has a person with one arm is meant to show that the complications from hypertension can lead to amputation and the person depicted in a styled form adds to the overall sombre tone of the artwork.
Fifi’s interpretation on the HIV/AIDS artwork shows a character of a Motswana activist against the HIV virus. “The activist is holding a spear covered with a condom as a way of saying the condom helps fight the virus,” he said. The same thing that the local artists were doing in Botswana was also taking place in Cape Town, South Africa and New Delhi, India.