[intro]The Journalist has had the privilege and joy of working with a rare group of talented young people, mostly in the Free State. This week we feature part two of the artistry of an addition to the fold, a young woman from Machabeng College in Lesotho. Without much training teenager Mpho Sephelane has already carved an indelible place for herself in the visual arts world. Her photo essays speak for themselves. She writes for The Journalist this week about how she got into photography and discusses some of her photographs.[/intro]
I knew that photography was what I wanted to do when I picked up my mum’s Blackberry one day and took photos of my brother. I was very pleased with the results. Of course, they weren’t the best quality pictures but as a visual artist I was intrigued by the beauty of the sky captured by the phone. It is after that incident that I talked to my IT teacher who sold me a second-hand camera for me to use. I’ve not stopped taking pictures since.
The photo series labelled 1-8 are portraits of Ntau Ntau. One of my favourite styles of photography is high contrasts of light and dark. These photos were inspired by the idea of human perception and potential. Potential to stand firm, confident and lit in darkness despite our different setbacks and circumstances.
I took the photos below around Lesotho during different times and seasons. It is with these types of photographs that I think the full beauty of the shot is best received by people native to Lesotho who don’t notice how picturesque their country is.
What drew me to these kids was their contentment in a surrounding their privileged peers would find unusual or uncomfortable.
It is difficult to talk about my art sometimes but I draw my inspiration from my surroundings.
Be it my family, my friends, my city and the world at large.
I would like to inspire young artists in Lesotho, especially females because this is generally a male dominated field.
I’d really like to motivate people and share stories and thoughts that could hopefully change someone’s life or perspective of the world.
I also want to rectify the perception that the only value of art is aesthetics and that it is hardly educational or morally valuable!