Artist and sculptor Xhanti Mpakama might not be that popular to most people, but he is slowly but surely gaining recognition for his sculptural work that depicts life on the rolling hills of the rural areas of Transkei in the Eastern Cape. His work is inspired by what’s most dearest to him – The Xhosa People, their history, heritage and wisdom. He is inspired by his childhood memories growing in the rural areas of Transkei where he started showing a natural artistic talent being keen on sculpturing from an early age using clay (udongwe). He remembers the hardships of men leaving hteir families to work in the mines, and women left to raise children, tending farmlands and warming their homes. His sculptures reflect the changes in the Xhosa nation between past and present. As the traditional ways of the Xhosa people are being forgotten or transformed, he captures their emotions, their bodies and their actions and expresses these feelings in the joy or sorrow on the faces of his beautiful bronze sculptures. This transition to the ‘modern’ and ‘western’ lifestyle is easily noticed in the dress of his sculptures. The figures of women are now clothed in hats and western style skirts, whereas still adorned with traditional style jewelry and artifacts. He pays careful attention to detail and that is one of the most unique elements of his sculptural art.
Xhanti’s sculptures have very strong titles which he bases on the theme of the work and sometimes based on the reason he would have made that particular piece. He also makes custom designed sculptures to order. To get support/ buy any of Xhanti Mpakama’s sculptures, you can visit his website Xhanti Sculptures for distributor details, or call him on 021 853 6450.