I had a call from internationally renowned artist Peter Clark of Ocean View who thought I would be interested in the exhibition of a friend of his, Patrick Mokhuane, who was born in Simon’s Town and for many years lived in the Scenic South Peninsula – in Sunnydale, Ocean View and later Muizenberg. Peter had been invited to the opening of Patrick’s exhibition at Rust en Vrede and was very complimentary of his friend’s work.
Describing his talent in painting and drawing as “God-giving,” Patrick started drawing as a very young child. Born in Simon’s Town on 26 June 1952 he attended the local school where his father was a teacher. He did his high schooling in Heathfield and Genadendal before attending art school in Woodstock. Apart from art he has a keen interest in classical music and harbours the wish to learn to play the piano and the cello.
Post school he joined Sanlam insurance company and then moved on to Absa Bank. Visiting an art exhibition in Johannesburg in 1994 was a turning point for him which resulted in his quitting his job and going into art full time in 1996. As a member of the Fish Hoek Art Society he had taken part in a group exhibition at the Fish Hoek Civic Centre in 1990 and had also exhibited with other artists at the Baxter Theatre. He attended private art classes, enrolled for correspondence art courses and studied “a little commercial art at Ruth Prowse Art School.” He has since exhibited in prestigious galleries in South Africa and also in Malaysia, Canada, France, Australia and Zimbabwe.
As a youngster he had learnt a lesson from his dad which he has carried with him since. “If you start something then it should be finished and if you want to reach your goals in life, then you have to try hard and not give up until your task is completed,” was his father’s philosophy.
Using acrylics and oils, Patrick paints still-life, usually bowls of fruit, landscapes and buildings of the old District Six, most of which were destroyed when the Group Areas Act was enacted. He had spent much time in District Six as a child, visiting his grandparents. His inspiration for his paintings of District Six comes from old photographs and the stories of the people he knows who once lived there.
Patrick lives a “simple life“ in Eerste River, but his heart is back in the South Peninsula. However, he says, “Now that I am painting I feel satisfied with life.”
Patrick is close to well-known local artist and writer Peter Clarke of Ocean View, whom he regards as his mentor, and Willie Bester, a painter and sculptor. He is also inspired by the work of Pieter van der Westhuizen, Sandy Esau of Darling and Frank Ross of Paarl.
Patrick’s advice to aspiring artists: “Keep trying, don’t ever give up!”
The exhibition runs at Rust and Vrede until the 14 March. If you miss it, you may see Patrick’s works at various galleries in Cape Town including the Cape Gallery, the Everard Read Gallery, the G2 Art Gallery ,The Framery in Sea Point as well as the Bay Gallery in Langebaan.
Thanks to Nina at Rust en Vrede Art Gallery for info submitted and the photographs.