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6 Questions with Johannesburg gallery owner who believes art is not only for the rich

House and Garden SA chats with a young, female gallery owner and artist in Johannesburg who aims to make art accessible to all

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By Kauthar Gool | May 24, 2023 | Art

A young female gallery owner from the North West province who now resides in Johannesburg is a firm believer that art should not exclusively be aimed at the rich or elite in society. Boitumelo Diseko is only 26 years old and already has her own gallery called B Artworks Gallery, which is located in Maboneng and officially opened its doors in 2022.

The University of Pretoria Fine Arts Honours graduate shared that her love of art was born when she was only six years old and led to her moving to the City of Gold. “I grew up in an artistic family. I saw my brothers being able to draw and I wanted to be able to draw as well. It turned out that I had the talent too,” Boitumelo explained.

House and Garden SA chatted with the creative and asked her six questions about upcoming exhibitions, her ambitions, and more.

Boitumelo Diseko is an inspiring female artist who resides in Johannesburg. Image: Supplied

1. You mentioned that you’ve always loved art, but why did you decide to become a gallerist?

From a young age, I wanted to own my own art gallery because I had not been able to be in an art gallery. I didn't know any artists. Then, I vowed to make [art galleries] accessible to everyone, even people who look like me or have the same background. I believe that art shouldn't be seen as only for the bourgeoisie.

'Ecclesiastes’ by Boitumelo Diseko. Image: Supplied

2. What are some of the recurring themes in your work?

My work centres around environmental psychology and the Christian faith; on how God uses the environment to build our character. [In my work], I use lines akin to contour lines and I call that technique Lineation. Everything we do at B Artworks Gallery is aimed at inspiring people to be the artworks God has created them to be.

‘Marikana #2’ by Boitumelo Diseko. Image: Supplied

3. What was your occupation prior to opening B Artworks Gallery?

I used to work in retail. I worked my way up till I became a manager and that's how I received funding for B Artworks Gallery. It has not been an easy journey. There have been some ups and downs but it's very important for one to never lose sight of why they do what they do.

4. How would you describe your work?

I don't like telling viewers what the concept of my work is about but rather open the floor for the viewer to engage with the piece and decode it in whichever way [they see fit]. This way, the viewer can connect with the piece on a deeper level because there is no wrong way of explaining art. I want people to be inspired, to be inquisitive, and to be moved emotionally.

‘Fear Not’ by Boitumelo Diseko. Image: Supplied

5. Who inspires your journey as an artist and your work?

I consider God to be the artist who inspires me. He created the world with no reference point. I consider the artworks I make as sermons on their own that can be decoded spiritually.

‘Rest’ By Boitumelo Diseko. Image: Supplied

6. Are there any upcoming exhibitions you will be hosting? How can people RSVP to attend?

The next event we are hosting is on 16 June 2023. We are happy and honoured to announce that we will be hosting the legendary Prof Pitika Ntuli to inspire artists and aspiring artists. The event will be held at the Main Change Building at 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, 2094 on the third floor, room 301D. The event will be from the 5th until the 16th of June 2023. Doors will be open at noon. Entry is free. RSVP at [email protected].