Competition works
  >  Artists  >  Artists Profile  >  Artwork

Umsamo (Nguni term meaning 'the sacred place')

2021 Competition entry

Sibenoxolo Foji

Silkscreen print on Fabriano
52.5 x 39 cm

This artwork incorporates symbolic forms and objects found in a spiritual/ritual context. The composition creates a calm setting for meditation and prayer by providing adequate room for the eye and mind to be still. This setting takes the form of a circle in most esoteric traditions across the world, and this is no different in South African mysticism as Umsamo is found within the homestead hut, this circle represents a continuous force. The use of the self-portrait represents my spiritual journey as umXhosa and a youth, I sense a subtle but discernible attraction toward my Ancestral Spirits and earth based spiritualties, the subject matter in the work reflect this. From candles to beads to bone-dry wood, the voices of the earth (lost to time) are alive in all our spaces and within.

Umsamo is not just a physical place it is also a philosophical pursuit for self-awareness and holistic self-affirmation. It is an African emancipatory ideology that empowers you to return to your core self, to your soul's rhythms and maps. Umsamo is a journey back to the umbilical cord of your spiritual well-being. As a result, you embrace the warm spot where your inner tranquillity lies.