Ramarutha Makoba

Artist’s Bio

I was born in Soweto in 1984 and brought up in Dieploof Zone 3 & 4. From an early age I loved watching cartoons and used to draw my favorites such as Ninja Turtles and Tom & Jerry. I used to show them to my grandmother who was the first person to encourage me to take the art seriously. While my father was a good artist he treated art as a hobby.
When I was 13 years old I attended art classes at a local community centre where Chris Molefe had a profound influence in my work. I attended workshops at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. I completed two years course at FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artists).
In 2004 I joined the Artist Proof Studio and received certificates of excellence in first and second years. I was selected for printmaking; I completed the 3rd year professional programme in 2007.
I have worked under Artist proof studio on these out ridge program Noah’s Arch in Soweto. I was teacher at Little Artists School Project at Berea Barnato High School.
Talking of printmaking, scratching into the plate allows me to create an image that reflects a time and place that is close to me. These images bring me closer to understanding my world. I constantly observe people and their relationships to each other on my journeys to work. My work deals with social ignorance and the hardship of people

Artist’s Statement

Tree concept: My work has repeatedly made use of the tree motif to explore different themes. When I am painting a tree I think of individuals in my life. Some individuals who enter in my life are like leaves on a tree, they are only there for a short period of time. Some individuals are like branches on a tree that cannot withstand a lot of weight in most circumstances. You cannot be furious with them though, it’s simply who they are…After all, there are those certain individuals identified in my life who are like roots of tree. In any situation they will keep me standing…

Mining concept: The history of Johannesburg as mining city is sometimes forgotten in today’s colorful Joburg life style. In my artworks I am highlighting the nearly forgotten history and aspects of this history.
The motif of mining is about South African mines that plays a major role and influence in the economy and employment. My art works with tree and mine shafts as a background tells a history that the travelling of the train that brought people around Africa to go and mine in Johannesburg. The tree symbolizes the family of the man who left the family to go work in mines.
I also make portrays of female miners who can encourage other woman that they can be miners at these days even if it’s part of a male dominated field. Woman can be inspired to archive their wildest dream.