Art Interview: Nosiviwe Matikinca – A Shoe-In, Or Found And Fascinating

June 2, 2024




Nosiviwe Matikinca was the winner of the 2023 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition.


What sort of training have you received and how important do you thing it is to seek training (in terms of learning first principles and refining technique)?

I enrolled myself in programmes and initiatives that were facilitated by some organisations in my areas, including the after-school programme hosted by the Peter Clarke Art Centre and Enlighten Education Trust. I went to an art school and learned about art history – I’m currently studying towards my Visual Arts degree. It is important to seek training so that you build a foundation for yourself and learn different art making techniques and skills. This gives you the freedom to be able to work with different materials and surfaces. You also enable yourself to identify your favourite material, the one that you handle well and the other ones that you are not so strong in at an early stage.


What is your principal medium and why did you choose it?

I love working with found objects, giving them a new purpose after they were discarded. I also love working with mixed media – for example having three mediums in one work, like charcoal, cardboard and pen. I just don’t like to hold or tie myself to one medium. This year, my medium is slip casting. It captures the essence of the object you are working with and requires time and patience.


Describe the techniques you use most? How complicated are your methods and why is each step necessary?

Mould-making and casting. They need one’s absolute focus every single step matter as they all add up to the success or failure of the final work. Measurements and attention to detail are important.


What technological tools do you use in your work?

I am mostly using the kiln where we fire the shoes and dry the moulds after making them. There is brisk firing of the shoes when they are properly cleaned and dry and then, after applying the oxide, we fire them again.


Who is the single other artist whose style you most admire, and why?

George Pemba, I love how he was inspired by his surroundings and the people around him. He was a painter, but I have loved his work since high school.


Galleries and other traditional means are one way of marketing art. What do you believe are the most important other routes, and what is the most important insight you have gained in that area in your career?

Street markets and art fairs are another way one can market their art; social media also helps. It allows one to discover other artists that are out there, those who are not with any gallery, who are starting out, or who are self-taught. I tried to have a virtual gallery, but that didn’t work out well, since I didn’t have much knowledge about socials and the experience of being an artist.


Why do you create? What are your stated goals in producing art?

I create to teach others about a life that is different from theirs and to give life to discarded objects, give them a new purpose. I create to inspire others and to have a say in some social issues when I can’t find the words. I want to be able to teach others with the knowledge and teachings I have received. I would love to open an art school where learners from around the country will be able to do art and other art disciplines as part of their school subjects. A school where learners are free to express themselves.