ONE TAKE GRACE

Ga Mothapo, Johannesburg, Cape Town

One Take Grace is a long-term cinematic project directed by Lindiwe Matshikiza. After over a decade of spontaneous and collaborative life-writing with Grace Mothiba Bapela, documenting her life as an actor and domestic worker, this project was to move to a final stage of post-production, readying it for public exhibition. The final stage of editing, animation and linguistic work, although already in process, has been put on hold due to insecurity of release of NAC funds.

Grace Mothiba Bapela’s stories are explored and interpreted in collaboration with artist, Lindiwe Matshikiza, weaving both a complex, intimate portrait of one woman, and a subtle examination of migrancy and South African class, race, economic and social dynamics over the past fifty years.

ARTISTS IN THE PROJECT

Lindiwe Matshikiza

Grace Mothiba Bapela

Zen Marie

Masello Motana

João Renato Orecchia

Meghan Judge

Khalid Shamis

motherbox

Motherbox is an artist-led organisation thinking about how each project requires its own creative strategising for how to get it done. Sometimes this is about resources, sometimes it’s about mediating relationships, all the times it requires the best parts of ourselves as artists to thrive. We initiate and produce our own projects with a particular focus on artistic process. We support other artists with their projects, and offer various services such as mediation, consultancy, proposal writing, creative brainstorming, and workshop facilitation to likeminded individuals and organisations. Motherbox is also interested in documenting and keeping records of how processes unfold, for the sake of reflection and as a contribution to a broader, decentralised, multifaceted library of resources for artists of the present and future.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Grace Mothiba Bapela began her working life at the age of 14, leaving her home in Ga Mothapo, Limpopo to find work in Johannesburg in the early 1980s. For thirty years she worked as a domestic worker and nanny, caring for families in Johannesburg, Cape Town and in the USA, whilst being a mother and grandmother to her own children. In the early 2000s, seeking escape from this kind of work and better financial conditions, she began working simultaneously as a part-time actor in the South African film and television industry. She has appeared on prominent local productions such as Muvhango, Rhythm City, 90 Plein Street, Sokhulu & Partners and The Coconuts, and in films such as Mrs Right Guy and State of Violence. Mme Bapela has since returned to her home in Ga Mothapo, where she is building her community wellness programme and centre, Legae lelebotse la kgothatso ya Cancer.

Lindiwe Matshikiza is a multidirectional artist with a background in theatre-making and a special focus on performance, writing and directing. Her projects are largely process-driven, collaborative and often take on more than one form over time, and she has worked with a wide range of artists across various kinds of practice in Africa and the rest of the world. In recent years, Lindiwe has been a fellow of The Camargo Foundation (France), Vila Sul (Brazil) and Institute for Creative Arts (SA). She is co-founder of Motherbox: Organisation for Cooperation in the Arts together with artists, João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga and Mmakgosi Kgabi.

Masello Motana is a multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary performing artist whose practice includes acting, public protest theatre, heritage and vocal performance. She is the creator of The Vocal Museum Show in which she performs as a storyteller and lead singer. She has a wide experience across various mediums and is mostly known to the South African film and television audience for her various roles such as in the box office hit Matwetwe, A Million Colours and the 2020 telenovela hit, Lithapo. She has worked with directors Jahmil Qubeka, Pascale Lamsche, Rehad Desai and Kagiso Lediga. She also works on productions as a language coach, translator, language and aesthetics consultant under the Language Lab of her company The Vocal Museum.

Zen Marie (b. 1980, Durban) is an artist and educator working at the intersection of lens-based media, social practice and installation. Zen holds an MA in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam and is a graduate of the two-year residency program at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Through a practice which spans film, photography, performance, drawing and writing, he investigates the relationships between power and place, and medium and meaning. His current and recent projects propose decolonial rereadings of the narratives that become entangled with nature via conquest and representation. The ocean recurs in his work as a site where the personal, the political and the social are refracted through the experience of the sublime. His current research extends this interest in the politics of the sublime to landscape. Zen’s studio practice is complemented by his position as a lecturer in Fine Art at the Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg, where he is also engaged in research towards a practice-led PhD.

Khalid Shamis: Half Libyan, half South African, former Londoner. Khalid manages to both direct and edit documentaries, although at vastly different paces. His own films have taken up to 7 years to finish whereas he constructs and completes numerous films a year as an editor. This becomes a strange place of guiding first-time filmmakers, directing directors, imbibing worlds alien to his, containing and creating another’s vision, manifesting the dreams of the subjects in the films and being taken by the voice of the material itself. Khalid has worked with some of the leading filmmakers in South Africa and has gathered a few awards along the way.

Meghan Judge is an artist, researcher and organiser who works with animation, sound and social narratives. Her works generally experiment with time and often condense into moods and atmospheres that are affected by and speak to the material world. Compositionally, she is interested in how multiples come together, how difference is contained and the importance of sound in relation to this. She has taken part in and organised artistic exchange experiments, both as participating artist and as curator/organiser. These include ongoing activity in the Africa|Nosy Art Echange that finds connectivity (despite border constraints) and generates actions amongst artists in Southern/Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean. She is a PhD Fellow in the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South project at WiSER, Wits University.