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Artist Rick Baloyi heading for big things

Entertainment - Date: 28 April 2022

Written by: Thembi Siaga / Viewed: 411


Visual artist Rick Baloyi utilises his creative abilities to depict his personal life experiences in the form of two-dimensional cartoons.

The self-taught young artist from Tshivhuyuni village near Elim is a skilled painter and sculptor and does screen printing. His work, along with other artists’ work, was exhibited during the prestigious Nedbank International Polo event, held at the Inanda Club in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Sunday, 2 April.

In 2019, he was awarded a scholarship by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and Nedbank to support his visual arts studies at a tertiary institution. “When the Arts & Culture Trust approached me with this opportunity, they suggested that mine and three other artists’ work be featured at the Nedbank International Polo event,” he said.

His artistic passion started at a young age. “My journey started early in my childhood. I always loved art, but having studied at Lishavhana Secondary School, I didn’t get the chance to study art due to the limited subjects available. I only started practicing art professionally in 2018 after I completed my matric,” he said.

Baloyi was motivated and inspired by his mother and aunts. “I observed my mother and my aunts and saw the lengths they’d go to support me and my cousins.”

Even though he grew up in an area with little chance to grow as an artist, his situation did not make him lose hope. “I was always in doubt of my artistic abilities, considering that we don’t have many art spaces and galleries in the villages. But regardless of that, I believed in myself and made art until it got me where I am now,” he said.

At the age of 21, Baloyi is steadily climbing the ladder in the art fraternity. His most recent work is a self-portrait he did. “What it deals with is the hidden reality of oneself, my imaginative thoughts, and feelings. I work primarily in colour ballpoint pen and charcoal and my style is realism. I was very happy about the chance to exhibit my work and believe this to be a good way for Nedbank to support young and upcoming artists such as myself.”

He says that art helps him to find his place in society, and in difficult times he finds solitude in his work. He is currently studying for a BA degree in Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg. “I consider myself a self-taught artist. However, through my studies I have definitely learnt new modalities in the different mediums that helped me improve my skills and style,” he said.


Visual artist Rick Baloyi from Tshivhuyuni village near Elim showcases his work at the Nedbank International Polo event, held at Inanda Club in Sandton, Johannesburg recently. Photo supplied.



Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga worked as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people.


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