Man like mountain, of memory & scar: Lisomizi Pikoli

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Illustrator, muralist and visual artist Lisomoizi Pikoli has put together a fantastically beautiful art book: Man like mountain, of memory and scar. I went to see the work at Keleketla Library where Lisomizi spent some time explaining his thought process during an artist walkabout. 

This was a multimedia exhibition including a selection of prints, sketches, an installation as well as the art book; Man like mountain. All works were presented against a backdrop of a dream like state mural which replaced the typical white walled presentation. 

The work is interesting as it merges magical surrealism, geometric abstractionism and graphical structure - all melting into etherial, flowing pieces with ragged edges……with the mountain as the recurring idea housing his expressions. 

This is him; 

The mountain serves as a visual metaphor juxtaposed to man kind. A landform of raised earth formed overtime through the earth's shifting tectonic plates or volcanism which is eventually worn down by the elements of erosion (water, ice, wind and gravity) throughout its geological lifespan, the mountain provides a reference similar to that of the life-cycle of the human.

Lisomizi explains that most of the work was inspired by his travels, particularly in the southern part of Africa. Being surrounded by mountains, nature and questions of an existence within each of these spaces. He emphasized the importance of honesty in creation versus limiting the flow and inspiration with stylistic rigidity. This notion is ever present in the body of work; each of the pieces are in conversation with each other to form a larger narrative and yet most are quite different from each other, stylistically. 

He succeeds in opening a conversation on memory, nature and existence….all through tapping into the different states of being we experience as we travel through time and space. For me, the work evokes memories of my childhood and questions about belonging and serenity and leave me with a whirlwind of mixed emotions that aren’t quite happy nor sad. 

 Find his work everywhere on the internet: 

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