Jan
Tshikhuthula

I was named after my grandfather. My name was given to me by our neighbour who was an old woman in our location in Tzaneen. She used to tell me a lot about my grandfather and encouraged me to always stay focused on what I am doing.

When I went home to do research, I discovered that my grandfather moved from a rural village in Venda to Tzaneen. It was 1964. My father told me that when my grandfather arrived in Tzaneen he worked for a company that manufactured water pipes. When he went onto pension, he made toolboxes from steel to earn extra money and keep busy. Although he never learned how to weld, he joined metals through soldering them together. This is all that my father could tell me.

In this body of work I use various objects to depict my grandfathers’ presence. For instance, the water pump is a common feature as my grandfather used to work for a company that repaired water pump pipes.   These pumps by urban standards are outdated but back at home they are still in use and relied on by surrounding communities. Every time I come across an old pump, I remember my grandfather.

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