My name is Nicholas Hlobo, and I got invited to the Tate to present a show in the Level 2 Gallery, and the title of the exhibition is Uhambo, and Uhambo means traveling. It’s a journey. This show is about the journey of my work and my self-growth as an artist, as a visual artist. This piece Ingubo Yesizwe which means a blanket of the nation, is really the main installation in the Gallery and I have two drawings and the visual diary. The piece is composed of rubber and strips of leather that I found on the street, and there’s organza and gauze. It references the cow, but after it had been finished, it started growing into something that was snakelike, so I do not really know what it is. As an artist I try to invent something of my own, try and have a language that I think can only be spoken best by me; and that’s what I’ve tried to do. And through this trying to reconstruct my understanding of what it means to be a South African. If you look at the beast, it’s got the legs but not all the limbs, it’s not a perfect beast, but it’s amputated; it’s got no head. Those are things when I think of South Africa, I think of some things, like now we’re almost like a headless sort of nation, even though we have a president, but I also feel you don’t understand what is happening, and there is uncertainty. What we are looking at in front of us is a drawing. The title is Iminxeba. Iminxeba means limbs of the vine. It also means communication, like for example the telephone. So I think to me it was the idea of suggesting the conflict, the harmony that results when communication has to take place. Now we’re talking about communication and we look at the piece over there, and the title of that piece, that drawing, is Phulaphulani. Phulaphulani means to listen. And it’s made up of stitched ribbons, there are some iPod headphones – and that’s really my way of trying to suggest that idea of listening. I view the paper as being an arid ground; it’s like a desert. There’s nothing on it, it’s just white, it’s dry, and it needs, somehow it needs some life. The works are not just about what’s on top; they are also about what is hidden, what is not revealed to your eyes; and I hope people can have an ability to imagine those things…If I could, to be like a small creature I could listen to people’s thoughts about how they find this. Is it beautiful, attractive, or are they repelled by it? Because I think those are important sort of views; but at times they tend to be hidden away from you, because you can’t be in everybody’s head. And not everybody feels so very confident, or to be outspoken, say ‘Oh, this is what I think.’ And when you ask people, they tend to be very polite. They say, ‘Oh, it’s really good, it’s nice.’ But when they sort of that way ‘It’s trash!’ [laughs] Release date in this format: 18/12/2008.