Creative duo creates superlative art experience

Ribane, Mokoena seek to close visible gaps in art space

Thango Ntwasa Lifestyle Digital Editor
Wasomi cofounders,Tebogi Ribane and Shelley Mokeona at their exhibition.
Wasomi cofounders,Tebogi Ribane and Shelley Mokeona at their exhibition.
Image: Supplied

The sublime scenes at the Nirox Sculpture Park make for remarkable memories. It was here where tastemakers in art, fashion and food met to create an unforgettable feast for the senses.

Multi-disciplinary artist Tebogo Ribane as well as fashion and décor designer Shelley Mokoena joined forces with Bombay Sapphire to create the Wasomi experience.

Bringing a diverse set of black and women of colour together, the esteemed pair curated a one-of-a-kind immersive art experiences. This included visual artist Tzung-Hui Lauren Lee as well as sculptor Fathema Bemath.

After a series of conversations, the pair birthed the experience after looking for ways to fill gaps for what was missing in the art space. “Creating costume was something that really excited me because I always saw dancers wear tights and crop tops and though they were not stretching the story. So costume made me more curious, looking at [them and thinking], can I make this humongous garment and dance in it?” said Ribane.

Fashion took centre-stage with a number of clothing items and fabrics displayed throughout the outdoor venue. This was also accompanied by breezy fashion show scored by a live soulful performance from local muso Sio.

This was culminated by the main Wasomi installation that featured art pieces that capture the different artists present at the exhibition.

“The main focus was the Wasomi-curated installation of everyone’s best work of recent. We just created it into a whole sum of what every artist is capable of in their most artistic forms of expression.

"From there, people gravitate towards what their interests are in…and that’s what Wasomi was about, bringing different mediums and experiences into one and curating into one installation so you can have a look and feel of different mediums into one.”

While they do embrace the beauty of interacting with art pieces by being near them physically, Mokoena and Ribane are considering digital experiences.

Mokoena encourages artists, especially those who are black and of colour, to be cognisant of how their art can inspire so many people as well as helping each other make better changes in society. She stresses that it is vital to create institutions outside of the typical white spaces that grant these opportunities.

For Ribane, it’s vital to show your self-confidence and to find ways to express the hurdles one might face and even finding ways to express it. “It’s our responsibility to be loud about it and to carry each other through it,” she says.

The pair is also keen on creating more of these experiences “in the most mind-blowing way possible”.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.