Celebrating life through art

2017-03-28 17:31
Tyrone Appollis is with the sculpture of Roxanne on a two legged stool which is part of his work being exhibited.

Tyrone Appollis is with the sculpture of Roxanne on a two legged stool which is part of his work being exhibited. (Tiyese Jeranji)

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Tyrone Appollis from Plumstead says it was a rocky road to become established as an artist but he never lost sight of his destination.

He always believed that one day he would become a successful artist and for the sake of his ego he wanted to become an important person.

His work is in oil and acrylic and he says it is narrative and people-driven. His main aim is what he wants to say to the world.

The father of three and grandfather of three recently celebrated his 60th birthday. He says now is his time. People’s Post met with the outspoken and joyful soul at his exhibition in the Sanlam art gallery in Bellville. The exhibition, called Of my Time, celebrates his life and art. It will run until Monday 17 April after it was extended by four days.

It includes 60 paintings and sculptures.

He is also celebrating his 60 years with a new documentary film on his work and life by Ron Moller of Storyteller productions.

Originally from Bridgetown in Athlone, Appollis says it was a huge struggle to get to where he is today.

“It was a long search. My father told me to stop doing art. He told me art is for women and men must work with a spade.

“That didn’t bring me down. The more I was criticised for my art, the more I wanted to work hard and prove to them that no-one can divert my convictions,” says Appollis.

Trying to find himself as an artist and being the breadwinner he had to do menial jobs to put food on the table.
“I worked in supermarkets were I did posters but I went back to my art. Sometimes I would give art up, but I worked my way up and here I am today,” he says.
He had his first exhibition when he was 14 years old under the auspices of the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisations (Shawco) and the Cape Flats Development Association (Cafda).

He says during apartheid he had to know his place.

“I had to know what I had to paint and not paint. There was censorship, but I can say most of it was self-censorship because I didn’t want to let too much out. I didn’t have the courage and the eloquence of Steve Biko. Though doing art nowadays is better, but one has to be limited by others’ freedom of expression,” says Appollis.

Despite art being his first love, he is also fond of good music. He plays guitar and is a penny whistler.

For more information call Tyrone Appollis on 079 122 2424 or visit Sanlam art gallery in Bellville.


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