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Patrick is flying solo for next exhibition



In 2019, Patrick Rulore won the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition and launched his full-time career as a professional artist. A former student of the Department of Fine and Studio Arts at the Faculty of Arts and Design, Gerrit Bester, spoke to him about his journey and his second solo exhibition, which will be displayed in March at the Bag Factory, a non-profit organization in Johannesburg.

Patrick is flying solo for next exhibition

Alum Patrick Rulore will be hosting his second solo exhibition at the Bag Factory in Newtown, Johannesburg in March.

You have flourished since winning the Sasol New Signatures Art competition. What changes have you experienced since then? I felt validated in my decision to pursue a career as an artist after winning the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition. My development as an artist in South Africa has inspired others. I have been surrounded with so much positive energy while working with these people.

Patrick is flying solo for next exhibition

In addition to purchasing some of your work for its art collection, TUT has also invested in your work. It should be a pleasant surprise for you. The fact that my work forms part of TUT’s official art collection is an incredible honor for me. There have been a number of institutions that have supported me throughout my career, including the Faculty of Arts and Design.

The Bag Factory in Johannesburg is about to host your second solo exhibition. Can you tell me how long it has taken you to put this together? Since 2015, I have participated in numerous group exhibitions, but this will be my second solo exhibit. The body of work consists of twenty paintings ranging in size from 30 x 30 cm to 120 x 180 cm that I have completed over the course of fifteen months.

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Where was the inspiration for the artwork you will be displaying? During those loadshedding days, you can expect to see twenty oil paintings on canvas showing how Hammanskraal adapted to daily life and loadshedding. Loadshedding is the inspiration for this work, and I strive to depict the aftereffects of those hours of darkness.

When it comes to reinventing yourself as an artist, what do you do? It has been a chance for me to learn from my mistakes since this is my second solo exhibition. I have decided not to apply varnish to my paintings since it does not sit well with light. Furthermore, I’ve gained spiritual growth and developed my ability to interact with my models.

What is the process you follow when making art? Due to the nature of my work, I must interact with other members of my community in order to succeed. In order to record (take photographs of) these hours of darkness, I obtain their consent first. My preference is to work with people I know. Once the drawing process is complete, the painting process begins.

Are there any advantages and disadvantages to working as a full-time artist? The advantage is that your life and your accomplishments will be honored if you succeed. Moreover, you represent those who are unable to speak up for themselves, addressing issues for which they are often unable to do so. One major disadvantage is that you may not know how much money you will make every month, making it difficult to budget. There are times when you may neglect your family because you are working so hard.

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Why do you admire certain artists? Azael Langa and Solly Munyaku. Oil painting has been introduced to me by them since 2012. Langa has achieved international recognition alongside his friend, colleague, and fellow artist Mpho Nkadimeng. I have been supported and helped by them since 2015, both with my first group exhibition in Pretoria and my international exposure. It was in their opinion that I should enter the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition, and I later won it.

Can you tell me about Patrick Rulore’s other projects for 2023? A significant year for my career will be 2023 when I host my first independent solo exhibition following my first solo show as a part of the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition. As well as Absa L’Atelier and Sanlam Portrait Awards, I am excited to participate in other large national art competitions.

We would appreciate if you could provide us with more information about the exhibition. In Newtown, Johannesburg, at 10 Mahlathini Street, The Bag Factory will host the exhibition starting on 4 March.

For more information, contact Makgati Molebatsi, my manager and adviser, at 083 801 2249, or Maria Fidel, manager of the Bag Factory, at 082 373 6127. 


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