Lefifi Tladi: Redefining a South Africa aesthetic

This documentary is for ALL art schools and forms the basis of a one year teaching course to help kids understand "what is art?" If you do not understand the demands of artists art students may be suited to a different career. When they know the demands of artists then they can choose for themselves.

The Purpose of art is to elevate the people's perceptions. Lefifi Tladi

An educational documentary and workbook on Lefifi Tladi titled “Jazzoetry is my life!” was included in the recent Music: Free-learning Season Two. Music: Free-learning is an interactive educational course aimed at grades 10-12 Music syllabus, students bridging to university and young professionals.

This initiative has allowed us to build a powerful archive of Lefifi Tladi’s work and to continue a strong communication with him in Stockholm.

1. Lefifi has a close working relationship with Anna Kilander a sound student at the University of Stockholm. Using a single camera on a tripod she has assisted us in filming the interview of Lefifi utilised in the link above.

2. The Lefifi Tladi Collection is managed by the Africa Open Institute, Dr Jess Rucell in Stelenbosch. In their archive they have a filmed presentation of Creating A Black Archive Then and Now! A Conversation with Lefifi Tladi.

This is a slideshow of 1970s artists. The original artworks are in storage in Pretoria.

Our proposal is to create a “virtual exhibition” titled “Art of the senses” by Lefifi Tladi.

The audio visual and written exhibition will collaborate with Anna Kilander and Dr Jess Rucell and will be produced by Sausage Film Company.

It will take the format of 6 x 8 minute video episodes together with written worksheets. The target market, distribution and presentation can follow the success of the music free-learning course … The episodes are proposed as follows:

E01 "What is art?"

If you do not understand the demands of artists art students may be suited to a different career. When they know the demands of artists then they can choose for themselves. This episode highlights the consciousness to truly perceiving art. As Lefifi says, “The more you are enlightened, you do not even need a painting, because nature is the masterpiece of art. If your ear is elevated you do not need damn music, because you can hear the music in the oceanic waves, the breeze, the rustle of leaves. Because your ear is on a higher level. Same way you do not need the painting, because nature is the greatest painting.”

E02: Redefining a South African aesthetic

“Township is the only ship you cannot sail, neither can you graze a township,” explains Lefifi. Art, Township art, Dance, township dance, Photography, township photography, Filmmaking, township filmmaking. Every aspect of our creativity is baked in the township. It is very, very important that we start creating a S.A. art form, an art that transcends. Important artists Lefifi talks about include Louis Maqhubela, Ezrom Legae and Zithulele Clive Ncaphayi.

E03: African Sound / Form

Lefifi has created symbols of how African music should look like when it is written. All the powerful nations, the Arabs, the Indians, the Chinese and the Europeans, have their own ways to represent the symbols for writing their music. Lefifi has gone outside the notation interpreting the music through the waves of lines. Together with Anna at the University of Stockholm they wish to transform the artworks into music using computer technology.

E04: Black Consciousness shaping art

Black Consciousness artists began to manifest a new vision of writing poetry, very much informed by our languages. Lefifi was instrumental in the formation of the Black Consciousness Cultural Commission organising exhibitions with important young artists of the time, Fikile Magadlela, Thami Mnyele, Ben Arnold, Winston Saodi, Matsemela Nkoana, Sydney Moema. Important young current artists continue in Lefifi’s style. As Lefifi says, “We were not just normal painters, but learning a lot about who were the other African artists. Which is lacking a lot today in S.A., even in art schools. If you take art students and say, let’s talk about artists in Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Ivory Coast. These young art student don’t know nothing about African contemporary art, and it is not in the syllabus.”

E05: African Colour Theory

Lefifi is known as one of Africa’s greatest colourists. In this episode he offers his primary teaching of Africa colour theory and mixing and identifying colours. It was I Sweden at Harvey Cropper’s studio, a Kultur Zentrum for artists that Lefifi honed his art talent, starting with the basic colour theory and then expanding into all sorts of interpretations. In this episode Lefifi will take us through his innovations from colour to innovation and sculpture.

E06: Creativity:

Once art can achieve its purpose, we don't need art anymore. We can go and listen to the ocean." Art requires creative people. And education on that path is crucial ... “As artists we should understand that our role is to set the cultural standard of our people,” says Lefifi explaining that it is time for the younger generation to get PHDs on themselves rather than people they know nothing about. A growing number of new generation artists are interpreting Lefifi’s paintings, writing and mystifying the art.

Scrit Development