Bambolwami Sibiya is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Trained at Artist Proof Studios in Johannesburg, Bambo avails himself of traditional printmaking techniques paired with painterly mark-making and drawing skills to create his artworks.
This work hails from a series that Bambo did where he focused on the children in his township of KwaThema. This piece is a print and is titled after the child whose image the work contains. The subject is caught at a moment of careful curiosity. She is looking but is not ready to engage. We all know this feeling. The one where the child hides behind their parent’s legs or says hello and runs away. Mbalenhle is wanting to know more about the viewer. The movement in the colours creates an energy about her which is in conflict to the stillness of her gaze.
The artwork was hand-printed as a silkscreen-print on artist paper. The artist created his image, painted and drawn in freehand from photographic reference on four separate screens. These screens are in register with one another in order to create one final work in the end. Each screen is prepared by hand, drawn or painted on, subjected to photosensitive processes, washed to clear unwanted areas and dried, to produce a master, printable screen.
Each colour (four in this case) was done on a separately created screen. Once completed, one sheet of paper is firmly placed on the printing bed, with the premixed ink squeegeed through the screen onto the paper. Once dry, the second, third and fourth screens are applied, each with a different colour, one print at a time. The entire process would be repeated ten times in the case of a limited edition print series as this one.
The hand printed silkscreen method is labour intensive and time consuming although there is a limited edition of ten prints, each print undergoes four stages of individual hand printing before the artists signs it individually. Screen printing is a true form of art and used by many world famous artists.