Top Billing features artist Atang Tshikare Atang Tshikare is a man who has won his creative freedom and his latest solo exhibition is a credit to the women who helped him get there. It’s titled Oa mpona, meaning ‘Do you see me?’ in Tswana and Sotho, and Atang’s wife Lexi Tshikare has been central to its creation.
Part of Atang’s latest collaborative work is a ceramic and plastic tapestry, created with weaving techniques by his grandmother Ma Meta Tshikare. She has watched and encouraged his creativity from childhood.
From the early inspiration of cartoon characters, Atang’s mythical creature sketches are the first stage in his creative process. The designs are then taken to a factory where they are up-scaled to their final size. Machinery might complete his art but the engine was always his mother, who passed away in 2002. She sent him to art classes, enrolled him in a graphic design course and drove this creativity.
This self-taught go-getter encourages creatives to travel more – inside Africa or even outside their neighbourhood to find inspiration. He works independently of galleries, insisting that artists do things for themselves and best of all, he leads by example. Watch the insert preview: