The exhibition in Johannesburg will feature a whale-like sculpture made from rubber inner tubing and ribbon, titled Tyaphaka, and new works on canvas.
Tyaphaka, a Xhosa term referring to a ball with water or an eye, was first shown on the 2012 Sydney Biennale. The piece was partially submerged in the Sydney harbour, exposed to the elements with algae and bird droppings an integral part of its anticipated weathering. Describing the work for the biennale, Hlobo wrote:
[Tyaphaka] is a play on the idea that things can be submerged or brought up from below the surface. The sculpture takes the form of a beached whale… [It] may not immediately resemble a whale; it probably looks more like an amoeba, and relates to the idea of a whale lying ashore. The tail of the sculpture will be on the slipway, submerged in the water, with part of it floating freely on the water a few metres away. Debris will drift in and out of the slipway with the tides, and at times cover and uncover parts of the sculpture. This in itself is a rich metaphor for surrender to the elements over which we have no control. This may be extended to our personal lives, and the lack of control we have over things and people coming in and out of our lives, like the tides, and the impact these elements have on our lives over time.
Hlobo’s new works on canvas incorporate the artist’s signature materials of rubber and ribbon.