Choreography of living presence on canvas - Matloga’s works on digital display

Visual artist Neo Matloga has a unique skill of capturing scenes from stage plays and soap operas and then manipulating them to produce stunning collage paintings.

He further uses images from family albums, magazines and books and enhances them with ink and liquid charcoal to produce an orchestral combination of collage.

Born in Mamaila, a small village in Limpopo, he describes his work as straddling choreography and transcending language barriers, and that it immediately grabs your attention as a viewer.

This is evident in his latest exhibition Back of the Moon, which is being presented by Stevenson Gallery digitally.

Currently based in the Netherlands, Matloga decided to name his exhibition Back of the Moon because the creative process took place at night while he was in his studio in Limpopo.

In his exhibition he presents large-scale, multi-panel works, extending his exploration of the collage technique both on and with the canvas.

Whether it is people sitting in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, stoeps or studying, Matloga is able to employ his artistic mind and put that in one piece.

"I thought about what it means to offer my practice from a social and aesthetic context and point of view.

"I made the conscious decision to continue making the interiors using a monochromatic palette, partially due to the fact that this use of colour makes the figures difficult to place in time - my characters appear in scenes from an alternative, personal existence."

In his work Matloga looks at the contradictory arrangements of posture and expression, offering a kaleidoscope of interiors and interiorities that question common understandings of social relations.

"Although the scenes are
socially confirmed, living with the work in studio made me realise that I'm creating situations that I know are not for me to understand, meaning I'm not able to decipher the expressions of these souls even though I highly connect with and to them.

"In my collage paintings, the figures refuse to solidify into simply drawn or painted material; there is a living presence there on the canvas that cannot be looked away from."

Some of his interesting works include Motho Waka, Mamazala ka di Potsotso, Mokibelo and Modjadji o Stout.

The viewing ends at the end of June.