Thero Makepe is an artist and photographer born and raised in Gaborone, Botswana currently working in between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Gaborone. At present, his work uses sculpture, photography and sound art as a means of exploring themes of childhood, memory and his multidimensional experience as an African male. He is particularly interested in the grey area between collective and personal memory as well as reality and imagination.

Makepe’s work is informed by past and present narratives related to his upbringing and lived experiences in Botswana and South Africa. Wavering between photographing handmade dioramas and existing landscapes, his body of work contains images that evoke anxiety, tragedy and fatality, whereas others reflect calmness, light and eternal rest.

He is also a founding member of the Botswana Pavilion, a collective of young artists from Botswana, conerned with advancing Botswana’s creative development and artistic archive. The Botswana Pavilion alludes to the Venice Biennale, where Botswana is yet to participate. An exposition of worldwide creative potential, which represents 89+ nation states from around the world, as art pavilions (including the Zimbabwe Pavilion and South Africa Pavilion amongst others), in 2019, the Botswana Pavilion significantly co-ordinated exhibitions in Botswana and South Africa which ran concurrently with the biennale otherwise known as the ‘art-world Olympics’.

Makepe recently completed his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art with distiniction at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town. In 2019, he was awarded the Tierney Fellowship for the Michaelis School of Fine Arts in partnership with the Tierney Fellowship Foundation. In 2020, he was selected as a finalist in the 2020 edition of the Blurring the Lines competition, conducted by the Paris College of Art.

Group Exhibitions

The Botswana Pavilion - Collective Ties, Virtual Exhibtion, 2020

CONTESTED SPACE | WATER IS LAND IS AIR, Virtual Exhibtion for Latitudes Art Fair, 2020

a_part: Qurantine Collabortion, Virtual Exhibtion, 2020 

Michaelis Gradshow, Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town, 2019

The Botswana Pavilion - Subjective Nationhood, Botswana National Gallery, Gaborone, 2019

The Room, BG Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 2019

The Botswana Pavilion – No Return, Gallery Momo, Cape Town, 2019

Hue and Hue – group pop up exhibition, Monolith Studios, 140 Canterbury St., Cape Town, 2019

Awards

Blurring The Lines, Paris College of Art, (Finalist), 2020
Simon Gerson Prize, 2019
The Tierney Fellowship Award, 2019

Press

Global Art Daily
Artthrob
Let's Be Brief
The Daily Vox
Design Indaba
Centre for Curating the Archive - University Of Cape Town
Kalahari Review
Between 10 And 5
Michaelis School of Fine Art

Contact

theromakepe@gmail.com

Instagram

© Thero Makepe 2020