Themba Khumalo

My concept is based on my relationships with people. In my work, I explore feelings of connectivity and isolation. I am most comfortable in a designated private space. My biggest fear is rejection and loss. My attempt is to build trust and closer associations with others through my artwork.


There are never human figures in the images. However, electric poles, plugs, and cables are the subjects of all the works. These are metaphors for life, energy and movement. The subjects are seen in different contexts, all outside, in a city or landscape. This provides the context. The atmosphere is created by the sky.


I have a digital camera which I take with me wherever I go. I often document scenes between Johannesburg and Orange Farm. I take pictures of spaces and the sky at various times of the day. These images are used as a reference from which I develop charcoal drawings. Willow charcoal allows for manipulation of form and the blending of tones. These drawings are used as the starting point for the final printed images.


Etching is my chosen printing technique because it enables me to describe the range of tones which are present in the original charcoal drawings. Each work created is intended to capture and evoke a different mood and feeling.