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Balekane Legoabe

Artist 324

Balekane Legoabe

Experimental narrative illustrations

Digital and traditional Mixed media

Artist Balekane Legoabe in her studio
Balekane Legoabe

Balekane Legoabe is a Pretoria-based artist who specializes in illustration, animation, digital and traditional mixed media artworks.


Her work explores the complexities that compromise has on your held values and truths – and how complexes impacts on one’s personal and social identity.



“I work in both digital and traditional media. I create digital collages focusing on animals and/or human figures as my primary subject matter.” Legoabe explains, “I also create expressive and colourful mixed media traditional artworks using materials such as paint, ink, masking tape and sand paper. I like to generate my own textures and draw, paint, photograph then scan my textures.”


“In terms of visuals, I’m really inspired by delicate and beautiful objects and elements in nature. Creation is powerful, beautiful and so enchanting. I also draw inspiration from personal experiences and the way that things make me feel. Film and music are also huge sources of inspiration for me.”


Digital print on archival paper
‘An Alphabet chart’


Balekane explains her art making process, “I always try and declutter my workspace and get all of my materials ready. This somehow helps me to get my brain in order. I also put on a nice playlist or sermon to work to. Also, a cup of flavored herbal tea.“


Beautiful bucks

Today’s focus is on her series where Legoabe with the MSF (Doctors without borders) to share the experiences of migrants and to provide them with needed medical assistance.


Their stories have been documented by the MSF staff from migrant health projects in Tshwane, South Africa, and Beitbridge, Zimbabwe. They have recorded hundreds of testimonies since 2019. illustrates the stories of migrants which give us a glimpse into the emotional and psychological experience of migration to and within South Africa.



She views South African art as essential as due to our diverse and complex stories that make up the country.

“The complexity of simultaneous diversity and unison. All the tension and nuances that come with living in a country that is divided on so many fronts, yet at the same time wanting the same end goal – peace of mind and safety. There is a lot that can be expressed visually with regards to this. There are so many stories to be shared.” - Balekane Legoabe



In this latest series Legoabe illustrates the stories of migrants which give us a glimpse into the emotional and psychological experience of migration to and within South Africa.


The stories are harrowing and Legoabe’s artworks reflect the complex emotions and state of fear well.


Their stories very often detail distressing journeys marked by intimidation, ill-treatment and abuse, including long periods in detention with poor access to healthcare services.



“Having gathered such testimonies with full consent, we share our concerns with authorities to advocate for better migrants’ conditions,” says Rinako Uenishi, Project Coordinator of the MSF Migration Project in Beitbridge.



In a statement Balekane discusses, “The fact that humans can simultaneously experience an array of overlapping emotions is something that has always fascinated me. As people, we can occupy more than one emotional state at a time, which means that our feelings can, and often do, exist in a liminal space. my work explores the concept of liminality in relation to emotional states.”


Painting by Balekane Legoabe
‘A moment of loss’, close up


She goes on to say, “I want my work to create a visceral experience that encourages and propels viewers to tap into the complexity and obscurity of the emotions that they feel and to recognize that they exist within a liminal space.”


Artist Balekane Legoabe in her studio
Artist Balekane Legoabe in her studio


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