|Born in Cape Town in 1957|
Monotypes inspired by late 60’s and 80’s Music.
These images convey a love of music. In my youth people used to listen
to music at shows and in music halls. I remember when I was a young kid,
my parents were both in the music business. Especially my mother who used
to sing. Both my elder brothers and their colleagues played. I was encouraged
to play the piano as a hobby. My particular interest is African Jazz.
Soha developed an interest in art at a very young age. Encouraged to pursue his talent as an adult, he attended A.M.A.C ** and went on to study at Rorke’s Drift Art School in Kwa Zulu Natal. The school was founded by the Swedish Missionaries and this was the principal facility for the black artists in South Africa.
Soha’s experiences have continued to inspire him in his artistic pursuits. He returned to Cape Town in 1984 to teach young artists at the Nyanga Art Centre and A.M.A.C** for several years before devoting himself full time to his art career.
He has participated in several Thupela workshops and he is a current artist in Residence at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions across South Africa and in Namibia, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina, U.S.A., Holland, Sweden and Canada. He has worked on mural projects and received many commissions for book illustrations.
“I am a realistic artist, mixing colours in order to use them as naturally as possible”’ he says of his work, “I express myself mostly through township and rural scenes like homelands. My aim is to show the outside community how my people live their lives.”
When Soha was at Rorke’s Drift Art School they were taught how to select and specialize in subjects that they were doing at the time. He specialized in graphics/printmaking because his lecturer gave him encouragement and saw he was very good in printmaking. This encouragment inspired him .
** Please note that CAP (Community Arts Project) has been renamed AMAC (Arts and Media Acess Centre)
COMMISSIONS AND ILLUSTRATIONS FOR BOOK COVERS
Illustrations for 8 books, including for Oxford University Press. Also calendars by Engen, Caltex and Truworths. Part of group commisions from the department of Health (aids Education Mural, Gugultu) and the Cape Town City council (Nyanga Junction as well as ceramic murals for Guga s’Thebe, Langa)
Botaki Exhibition 2 written by Mario Pissarra for Old Mutual Asset Management, 2005
The ID of South African artists produced by Initiative of Art & Theatre
Amsterdam, April 2004
Below is a excerpt from ID of South African artists produced by Initiative of Art & Theatre Amsterdam, April 2004
Velile Soha has been working in the medium of print for close to twenty
years. His work is based on the lives of working class people, most specifically
people living in townships. Soha claims to be a realistic artist, mixing
colours in order to use them as naturally as possible. He says he expresses
himself mostly though the portrayals of black locations (townships) and
homeland scenes so as to show outside communities how his people live
The South African government has struggled since 1994 to cater for the housing of lower income people. His work ‘A New Arrival’ is the portrayal of one of these new government sponsored housing, which allows lower-income people to buy small houses for a reduced fee, but which have running water and can have electricity installed.