Sam Maduna was born in 1956 in Alexandra Township. His parents moved to Soweto in 1958, where he now lives and works in his home studio. He began to scribble and draw at an early age, and later when he attended Luyolo Primary School, he met a teacher, Mrs Sishuba, who encouraged his talent by giving him extra drawing for homework. There was no formal art lessons at school.

My previous focus in my art career has been portraying realism in figure and portrait painting. The lockdown of the past year stifled my creativity and I have been overwhelmed by a need to break free in a new direction. And so my new body of work is emerging. I am now allowing my emotions free reign enabling each painting to take control of its own direction. My hope is that the unique authenticity of each image will be apparent. I am excited to watch where this creative process will lead. I use line, texture, form and colour to accentuate the resilience, survival and ultimate triumph of the human spirit .For years I have tried to paint the emotion and stillness in my portraits of people. My earlier work reflects the explosion of colour, in an attempt to convey the energy, movement and inner spiritual content of my subject matter. My focus is targeted especially on the professional jazz musicians skillfully playing wind instruments like trumpet and saxophone. I work with high quality soft pastels and fluid acrylics. The painting surface for pastels is important. If all the other factors are equal, the longevity of works of art depends on the quality of the paper. It is for this reason I use 100% cotton, acid free paper.

I begin by laying down the underpainting with fluid acrylics and hard pastels. Thereafter, I use soft pastels to build progressive layers of colour. For the final layer, extra soft, thick, butter-like pastels are employed to give a finish of rich, luminous colour. I am continually looking for ways to hone my craft and have spent several years experimenting with different materials and techniques. Therefore the medium is gradually changing from working strictly with pastels to mixed media and it has widened my scope in terms of creativity. The time spent in the studio while listening to music brings back complex childhood memories and emotions that deeply influence my creative process. The melody, harmony, and rhythm which come from these masterful music compositions are symbolic of the “wholeness” of a human species… spirit, soul, and body. Creating art focuses my mind on the complexities of life and the different paths we all follow.

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