In contemporary times the notion of art has seen it being reduced to the idea of beauty as well as unimportant objects and with the diminution of art to this view, this understanding has undoubtedly become largely accepted. While this might have grounds, owing to the fact that its core, art can be reduced to mere objects as well as beauty, it proves to be quite problematic as it stunts the field all together. The greatest effect of this phenomenon can ever so often be seen showing itself in the form of the reduction of art simply to entertainment. Though art has become largely consumed for recreational purposes, individuals need not forget that art also serves the purpose of not only introducing people to new worlds but stimulating thought as well. Having perfected this technique Mpho Sephelane can proudly say that she is one of the few artists who have mastered this technique. Breaking the typical boundaries of art, Mpho’s refreshing work does more than merely entertaining through it being intriguing, impactful and most importantly thought provoking.
Mpho is a photographer hailing from the beautiful Kingdom of Lesotho and at the tender age of 22, the artist has found her niche developing a style of which she can easily be distinguished by merely looking at her art. The artist brought it to light that while photography is her main medium, she has always expressed an interest in anything imaginative and creative. Mpho states that this keen interest in creativity is the reason why she ventured into architecture. “For the longest period of time I had my heart set on being a pilot however with my passion for drawing, imagery as well as structures, Architecture seemed to be a better fit”. The artist states that she loves the field because a significant portion of it is socially driven which links in with her photography. “Architecture, just as photography changes the world with what you conceptualize and realize”. “This is really important as it can have lifelong effects on people and more importantly, if done properly, the generations to come”.
When asked about how her interest in photography came about Mpho admitted that her journey with photography has been a long one. “It all began with my mother’s Blackberry”. “There was something different about the sunset that day that intrigued me”. “Phoneless at the time I asked my mother if I could use her phone to capture the scene”. “I found myself on the roof our house trying to squeeze in as many shots as I possibly could before it became dark”. “After assessing what I considered to be the best images out of the bunch I posted them online and the reception was warm”. “With the reception I began taking more images and my IT teacher in high school took note of them”. “He loved them so much that from time to time he borrowed me his camera”. “This allowed for me to become familiar with cameras and gave me the opportunity to hone my craft”. “In all honestly that is when I truly fell in love with photography because on every occasion that I went out to shoot I was not only discovering things about myself but the world around me too.”
Mpho views her photographic style as being one that celebrates contact. The artist states that through her study of people she would like for individuals to be as inquisitive as she was when capturing images of individuals by making them want to find out more about the subjects themselves. When asked about a defining moment in her career the artist revealed that it was when she began calling herself a photographer and no an aspiring photographer. “This shift in thought during my journey in photography was very important as it gave me the confidence to set up my own exhibition”. Mpho states that while in retrospect it was not the best work she had put out, the fact that she had realized herself as a photographer was significant. “It has transformed the way I perceive myself and carve my own place in spaces of art, photography as well as architecture”.
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