Renowned South African visual artist Mbongeni Buthelezi is an artist with a difference
recycles plastic litter, adds some heat and melts it all on to his canvas to create pieces of art.On the forefront of being a local&international exhibitor for almost 20 years,paving the way for young&hungry artists who want to make difference & educate with the gift of painting.
“I use rubbish to create something beautiful from it. I collect something that has no value and give it new life. That’s what we can do with ourselves and our lives.”.
Mbongeni’s use of plastic during his art school days was a way to draw attention to the medium and as a way to stand out in the local art scene. His ability to combine waste products, sculpting them on to canvas was also a way for him to work through his creative process.
“With watercolour and other mediums… that I have experimented with in the past, there was a time where I felt that I’m hitting the ceiling, I’m not growing anymore.I wanted to be noticed and I wanted to catch attention,because I knew also that I’m moving into a career where you have to be really special to be able to even make a living out of it.”
Buthelezi’s art is a reflection of humanity often detrimental impact on the environment.
“a mirror for the society I live in, and I want to make a meaningful impact on that society”.
Mbongeni has been awarded recognised with various awards during his career, including semi-finalist in the 2007 Sasol Wax Art Awards, Buthelezi has also won a Visi Design award and a Mail & Guardian Green Trust award for “commitment and contributions to the environment (with) social conscience and creativity”.