Drawing on traditional printmaking techniques, Bambo Sibiya works with acrylic and charcoal on canvas. His work centres around the spirit of ‘Ubuntu Ngabantu’, a term deriving from Zulu philosophy and translating roughly as ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. His recent series focuses on early township life and the subcultural movement in the mining industry. During apartheid, many young men and women relocated from rural areas to urban Johannesburg in search of a better life. This period characterised huge adversity for Black Africans, who, in addition to oppression at the hands of white power, were forced to negotiate major social and domestic upheaval. What captures Sibya’s attention about this period is how these subcultures were kept alive, providing armoury to the inequities of the day.
In 2012 he was the recipient of the Gerard Sekoto Award, granting him a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris in 2013. He recently had a solo exhibition at Jack Bell Gallery, London (2017).