Celebrated visual artist Wilson Ngoni has yet again emerged with his brush to bring forth a collection aptly titled “Relentless” that speaks volumes about this indefatigable prodigy.
This is a retrospective collection that reflects on his journey in the arts and his unyielding spirit that urges him to paint regardless of circumstance.
Ngoni’s exhibition opens at Thapong Visual Arts Centre in Gaborone on March 9 and will run until March 24.
Says he: “I looked at my years as a visual artist. They span more than two decades now and the work came with its timeline. I was amazed by some of my own work and ideas. Since I started painting, my brush seems to never stop, bend or slow down.
“I have seen lots of our other artists across various disciplines – musicians, playwrights, painters – they come and go. Most of them give up due to the climatic anger of our challenges, especially the frugal support. I have withstood the trials and tribulations, hence the unrelenting flow of my artistic work.”
Ngoni, whose main influence remains Botswana’s diverse wildlife, culture and indigenous lifestyle, still draws from this oasis of inspiration. He says the themes in the imminent exhibition similarly life as lived by Batswana and their country’s abundant wildlife. “I am showing a wide range of themes, but there will be more of the world’s largest living land animal, the elephant,” he explains.
He says in putting the collection together, solitude and paint were his treasured companions. “I get carried away when immersed in painting,” he notes. “Sometimes I forget I haven’t eaten or slept.”
Shrugging off mention of his fame, the seasoned artist says he continues to learn and refine his style. “I learn all the time, but I do see a great deal of promise in myself,” he agrees, albeit reluctantly. “I think I have so much to give to our art, now and in the future. And I must keep on with consistency and creativity. One day I will be a principal artist. Maybe. I’m hopeful.”