#adidasFORUM Ft. Mookho Ntho

Say hi to,

Mookho Ntho

Photography by Blackmilk Studios

Make-up by Naazi Laher

Wardrobe by adidas

Editorial assistance by JollyBoyTheo

Editor: Roo

 

Described as an upcoming visual art, Mookho Ntho is a young creative individual that has a dedication towards the art world through her explorations of self-expression, art movements, identity and purposeful narratives that also touch on topics of self-worth, fashion and black excellence. And when one thinks about the people that are considered to being a part of a generation that is effortlessly embracing a world of unknowns then Mookho Ntho definitely fits within that group… A rare selection of those that truly embody the spirit of being unapologetically amateur while at the same time being open-minded to any experiences that may come their way. With that said, here’s our first of three #adidasFORUM editorials that not only find us getting to know the Lesotho native a bit more but finds her showing off the new “reimagined” #adidasFORUM.

You’ve expressed how your interest in art was sparked by “a desire to be visible in the art world… At this point, your work is very visible, and it seems as though you’re on your way to ticking that box if you haven’t already. How would you describe the growth you’ve gone through to get to this level?

The desire for visibility is for the black experiences in my works and not necessarily of myself. Inclusivity is important because that is the reality of the life we live, and portraying it differently not only doesn’t accurately depict life but is an injustice to a lot of black people’s lived experiences. There are still so many different Black stories I still want to portray.

Coming from Maseru, Lesotho, do you sometimes draw inspiration from home? If so, how so?

Definitely, my work is inspired by the emotions and feelings I have experienced. I recreate memories, create moments I have not experienced but have seen in my surroundings. I pulled a lot of inspiration for my pieces from my lived experiences and living in Maseru is a huge chunk of that.

What is it about the art world that made you want to be a part of it?

The freedom to express myself freely.

Most of the time we hear how art has influenced this/that person’s views or changed this person or that person’s life etc. As the creator of your pieces, you are technically the first person to interact with the work. How does or has your art influenced you as a person?

The process of creating art and growing an art career has taught me patience.

What type of mood, mindset, or environment do you have to be in to start working on something?

I need a clean relaxed environment with music playing in the background. I get ideas for pieces randomly and keep a list ready to be materialized if I have time, I sketch in a journal then move to a bigger scale. But most times I sketch straight on the canvas.

If you weren’t a visual artist, what else would you be doing?

I studied a BCom Information System at University, so probably working as a business analyst or UX designer. Alternatively, would be running my sustainable homeware brand Barali full-time.

The process of creating art and growing an art career has taught me patience. – Mookho Ntho

Your works tend to dive into subject matters such as religion, identity, social activism, fashion and probably others I’ve failed to mention. What would you say makes your art distinctive and none like no other?

I think what makes me distinctive is how I merge my love for fashion and art, especially the symbolism of large exaggerated jewelry. Jewelry is used as a repetitive symbol in my work. Not only is fashion used to blur the societal gender norms of the subjects in my work but the symbols are also juxtaposed to create interest and highlight my distinct voice.

Your artistic motto is said to be “Create with intent”. What are your intentions with your art? In other words, what messages does your work broadcast to the viewer?

“Create with intent” is a motto I say to myself to stay grounded in my purpose. Representation – I want the audience to be able to identify themselves in the black stories the pieces are telling.

What role do you think a visual artist plays in society?

For years, visual artists have always played a vital role, whether it was by creating art to appease Gods or immortalize the present to inform future generations of what happened in the past. Today not only do visual artists still contribute what they contributed in the past, but they also bring forth exposure to cultural differences which brings an understanding and appreciation for them.

The desire for visibility is for the black experiences in my works and not necessarily of myself – Mookho Ntho

What’s your favourite artwork?

Picking a favourite is difficult because each piece is created with the same amount of love. But I will say pieces that were inspired by grandparents are the ones that are closest to my heart – Golden girls (2020), Rest (2020), weight (2020), and Recital (2021).

What do you dislike about the art world?

I think the classism and exclusivity, I wish more young black people could have more access to the art world in all different facets they can as artists, curators, collectors, etc.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

My dad once told my business partner that he doesn’t believe in stress. We laughed when he said but as someone who struggles with anxiety, it reminds me not to worry about things I don’t have control over.

Finally, what do you want to remember forever?

Forever is a long time [laughs]. But I think how loved and supported I have been by friends and family throughout my growing career.

END.

Shop adidas FORUM at adidas.co.za and at adidas Originals stores, with prices starting from R1699.

Follow @adidasZA and use hashtag #adidasFORUM to follow the conversation on Instagram.

What’s your favourite artwork?

Picking a favourite is difficult because each piece is created with the same amount of love. But I will say pieces that were inspired by grandparents are the ones that are closest to my heart – Golden girls (2020), Rest (2020), weight (2020), and Recital (2021).

What do you dislike about the art world?

I think the classism and exclusivity, I wish more young black people could have more access to the art world in all different facets they can as artists, curators, collectors, etc.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

My dad once told my business partner that he doesn’t believe in stress. We laughed when he said but as someone who struggles with anxiety, it reminds me not to worry about things I don’t have control over.

Finally, what do you want to remember forever?

Forever is a long time [laughs] but I think how loved and supported I have been by friends and family throughout my growing career.