Orms Circle Mentorship Programme artist, Lesego Seoketsa, is nearing the end of her residency programme. Under the guidance of ORMS Cape Town School of Photography Photographic Department Lecturer and Exhibition Curator, Lauren Theunissen, head of Market Photo Workshop, Lekgetho Makola and Orms Circle alumni and multi-disciplinary artist, Yonela Makoba, Seoketsa has worked towards a body of work that has been exhibited in Cape Town from the 9th of December.
The exhibition is titled Uthethathethwano which means negotiation -, Lesego’s work layers the lived experience of being a black woman in South Africa, the tumultuous relationship with the land, as well as themes of creation, birth, liberation, reclamation and healing.
“Land reform in South Africa is positioned to empower those whose land was taken away through the apartheid regime and acknowledges the unsustainable and unethical impact of colonialism on our society. It seeks to assist in alleviating poverty and grow the economy by allowing farm workers and unemployed people to participate in land ownership.
The negotiation is, at its poles, between a group that is holistically benefiting from land ownership and the resultant wealth of the land, and another that is continuously finding ways to heal generational traumas positioned to disenfranchise black people,” says Lesego in her artist’s statement.
The Orms Circle Mentorship Programme has included in-depth technical training, one-on-one consultations with industry experts, and the opportunity for Lesego to receive invaluable feedback and guidance in developing the body of work for exhibition.
As part of the programme, Lesego has access to ORMS Cape Town School of Photography classes, namely photography and lighting. These courses have empowered her to develop further technical skills that will enrich her work as an artist, and assist her in developing a sustainable art practice.
Her experience with the Orms Circle Mentorship Programme has been marked by massive growth, both personally and artistically. Her move from Gauteng to central Cape Town has greatly enriched her creative process. “I have discovered things that I would never have seen being back home. I am truly grateful for the discomfort,” she says.
“The programme has given me an idea of who I want to be next. It’s given me the ability to accept the entirety of who I am. I’m leaving here with the strength to explore what it means to be myself. This will add a valuable layer to the way I approach my work. I understand now where I should position myself, despite what the world says.” – Lesego Seoketsa
Uthethathethwano opened since the 9th December 2020 at the FORM space in Cape Town, and will be open for public viewing until the 9th of January 2020. The exhibition will also travel to Johannesburg, where it will be showcased at the Market Photo Workshop’s gallery in 2021.