Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi is a painter who uses colour as well as form in an intensified, “symbolist” way. She uses mostly pure primary and secondary colours, painted in clashing planes. Each face and body she depicts seems slashed through in two or more areas of unnatural and quite “inhuman” hue. The paint itself is intense, and is applied in thick dabs or points of colour, creating an encrusted surface texture.
“Things and people are literally torn asunder. Figures and animals surge across the picture plane, in a restless tangle of limbs and bodies – metaphors for over-crowded townships and conflicts between people and competing ideologies.”