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Thoughts in a Suitcase: Township to London Exhibition

"I didn't really know the depth of my work or what my art was capable of doing to people, until...''

An ordinary township boy from Galeshewe, Kimberley, facing all-too familiar struggles of poverty and death. From a four-room building that once housed three generations to living there alone as a teenager this is his story:
Lebogang Motsagi is a 22-year old self-taught photographer, fashion designer, and stylist. in 2015 he studied Design and Studio Art at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein specializing in manufacturing, clothing, fine art, ceramics and digital literacy. Last year he moved to Cape Town to pursue fashion studies at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design but unfortunately had to drop out due to a lack of finance. He currently sustains himself as a freelance photographer. Following a series of newspaper, radio and television appearances he was invited to exhibit his work at the Brick Lane Art Gallery in London. His work features as part of the Photography Now exhibit which is on display until 19 November 2017. 

Thoughts of a wandering man... Lebogang's current exhibit emotively explores the move of a young man from one family to another in search of love and acceptance.

Following the opening night, Lebogang posted his thoughts on Facebook:
I didn't really know the depth of my work or what my art was capable of doing to people, until last night. We had the opening of our group show last night for the 'Photography Now' at The Brick Lane Gallery, in London, United Kingdom.
My series, titled 'Thoughts In A Suitcase,' was the most powerful body of work I have ever produced. The series consists of 7 images (2 A1s and 5 A2s) as well as two short films. During the show, I met these two beautiful Italian girls, one of them, named Julia, was one of the photographers who was also exhibiting. Julia and her friend, Luna Rizzo, were the two amongst the few that cried after watching my films. Later that night, one of the photographers, somewhere in his mid-40s, asked me to replay it. He was very touched as well.I later then had a chat with the manager and one of the staff members about the series and they ended up having tears run down their faces too. This was a very emotional moment for me and I will forever be grateful for the life that the Almighty has given me. I was very proud to have come this far with my work and to have also represented both Galeshewe and South Africa abroad. It has been a very painful journey, but I am proud to say that I have no regrets whatsoever. Even though I miss my family, creative partners, business partners, homies and the old people back home. The day when you realize that other people's lives depend on your art/creativity/work/calling etc. is the day you will stop being mediocre, and start creating art that has more substance.

Lebogang's work on display in London.

Brick Lane Gallery:

216 Brick Lane | London | E1 6SA 93-95 Sclater Street | London | E1 6HR

+44 (o)207 729 9721 [email protected] Open Monday to Saturday 10am - 6pm & Sunday 12pm - 6pm

Facebook Event Page: Photography Now
Facebook page: Blaqbone Apparel
Instagram: @theblaqroom_za

About Hayley Reichert

Passionate South African in London with a ‘glass half full’ approach to life.