q&a: Wesley Pepper, artist

zamantungwa | August 2nd, 2011 | Q&A | No Comments

what drew you to the literature world?

I wasn’t drawn to the literature, the literature world found me. It started in 2004 when I attended the ’10 years of Democracy celebrations’ in Newtown. At one of the sessions, a poet was answering a question thrown into the audience by the panel;, he was complaining that there were very few if any platforms for writers to publish their work. I remember thinking to myself what can I do. I asked around and soon found out that there was a huge void in the industry and subsequently stated my journey .

what is your vision for this industry? (i.e. what is it that you want to contribute to the literary world?)

I want to turn the ‘spoken word’ movement into a commercial independent industry.

I want to create a platform where writers and artists can express their talent to appreciative global appreciative audience.

And I want to publish great South African stories

tell me about your art? what is about? why art?

Why art, well that’s a very long story it all began many years ago , all I ever wanted growing up was crayons, colour in books or anything that I could use to express myself, When I completed my Matric there was only one thing I wanted to do.

What’s my art about: basically: It’s about my reaction, reflection on contemporary society. I don’t make art for galleries.

Artists are the custodians of culture!

what inspires you to keep creating art?

People! , Music! , Life! Pretty much everything that I see inspires me!

you say that artists are the custodians of culture. i’ll use the word ‘creatives’ as it encompasses more than one discipline. in what way would you say that creatives shape and look after culture – specifically in current times?

Over the past five years there has been a boom in  independent publishing. I’m proud to say that artist are awakening to an entrepreneurial  train of thought . we moving with the times, collectives are becoming companies  and artist are becoming brands. Creativity is not bound to the canvas anymore.

since 2004 what has your work been in the publishing and the art world?

I founded an independent publishing and multimedia company called reunitedsiblings since 2004 I published four books , worked on an award winning documentary , run countless workshops , spoken word sessions and partook in numerous book fairs and cultural events. We set the standard for independent publishers in Gauteng.

I also worked with many other collectives all over the globe as fine artist, creative director and publisher.

My art:  I partook in numerous group exhibitions across South Africa, I  held my first solo exhibition in 2008 and I sold artworks to across  the globe .I’m represented by three galleries

how have the two worlds melded together and has it been a happy marriage or have you had to keep them separate?

Nope, I keep them separate . They have different markets and my  approach is different. As a professional you have you know your limits and I prefer them separate

people in the creative world are often wary of turning their art commercial. do you every worry about art becoming too commercial that it loses it’s soul? how do you see poetry turning commercial?

I don’t think artist should apologise for making money. There are good commercial entities out there. It’s not as bad as what people make it out to be.

what are your thoughts on poetrypotion and where it is going or could go?

There are very few platforms out there that caters specifically  for poetry. Poetrypotion seals that void and in order to make it work we have to be bold and unapologetic we should be raw and contemporary.

I want to brand poetrypotion as  avant-garde authentic contemporary  Poetry and sell it to the world!

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