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Meet The Artist That Uses Smoke From A Burning Candle To Draw Images

An innovative artist – who uses smoke from a burning candle to draw figures and faces on pieces of paper is having an exhibition of his work at the State Theatre.

Called “ARTdiction” the exhibition features work by self-taught artist Elpee Anathi Nkanyuza.

Simply known as Elpee, the 24-year-old Eastern Cape-born artist told Rekord that he loved using ideas and things that no other artist would think of.

“I don’t think like other artists do,” he said.

“I always think of better ways to do things when I am painting or drawing.”

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Since discovering the use of smoke in art, his mindset has shifted.

“Before using smoke I used oil and pencils, but now I can see that I can do anything when I opened myself to other mediums and allowed myself to play around with my creativity.”

Elpee started drawing at a very young age after developing an interest in art in grade 1.

Over the years he has enjoyed helping his friends, classmates with their art at school.

“Growing up in a rural area like Mbulukweza in Tsomo, I would find different things to use such as clay, cardboard, cigarette filter, straws and candle smoke.”

Elpee has worked at MB studio community art gallery in the CBD and also exhibited his work in various parts of the country.

His latest exhibition, which started on Tuesday and runs up to 16 February, features a series of self-portraits that depict his talent for creating intriguing pieces using smoke as well as other mediums like charcoal and paint.

This exhibition is part of the incubation programme by the South Africa State Theatre under the department of arts and culture’s Mzansi golden economy programme.

The programme promotes emerging artists by showcasing their work at art galleries and other venues.

Elpee said he was grateful for the department’s support.


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