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Township Scenes as Recycled Art at Spier Market
By: Kit Heathcock   (2017-04-18)

Portrait of Tafara Karidza at Spier Craft Market

Tafara Karidza creates lively township scenes using a combination of recycled materials and painting. He’s developed his own style over the years with a 3D element that stands out from the background bringing the scene to life. Tarafa tells us about his art.

What is the inspiration behind your art?

The concept behind my art is recycling which people receive very enthusiastically. My art is all keyed to the use of recycled materials. Things like drink and food cans that would otherwise have been thrown away, I transform them into works of art.

It really catches the attention of kids that come through the market, I tell them the idea and then show them the practicality of implementing the idea. When I’m working at Spier I have my work in various stages of completion that they can see. I have to do all the cutting and construction beforehand, but they can see the tins before they are painted and recognise the brands like Coca cola and other products, then see how they are transformed by painting in different colours.


Township paintings by Tafara Karidza at Spier Craft Market

How did you start out?

I’ve been doing this about a decade. I have a background in graphic design, but I was struggling to find work in my field when I came to this country, so I started doing traditional painting on canvas. Then I came across this style on the craft market scene. I found it fascinating and worked with it until I’d developed it further to my own unique style. I got involved in some courses with the CCDI in product development and managed to shape my style to the level it is now.


Cape Town harbour painting by Tafara Karidza at Spier Craft Market

What makes your style unique?

I make my scenes as realistic as possible, introducing concepts of perspective and the use of colour and incorporating things I have seen and experienced in everyday life into the art itself. I live near one of these informal settlements and draw most of the experiences I depict from real life. Tourists who have been on township tours recognise the original shack scenery that they have seen there in my art.


Township paintings by Tafara Karidza at Spier Craft Market

What has Spier Craft Market meant for you?

Spier market has provided a unique platform to reach out to the correct client base. Meeting a lot of visitors, I enjoy talking to them about how the art began and about the art form. For next season, I’m working on adding a new line of mosaic art in small and medium sized pieces, things that have a practical use in the home.

Come to Spier craft market until the end of April to see Tafara’s work. Open every day from 10am till 5.30pm.