Thato Motana is a South African independent fine artist who lives and works in Polokwane. Describing himself as a “theological aesthete”; he is self-taught, and has been practicing fine art since 2016. Thato has showcased his work in group exhibitions at the Pretoria Art Museum, Number Four Museum – Constitution Hill, Oliewenhuis Art Museum and Polokwane Art Museum.   


He is the recipient of the 2019 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards: ‘Art on Paper Merit Award’, and a Sasol New Signatures 2019/21 finalist.  

Art Bank of South Africa is a collector of his work, and Business and Arts

South Africa has notably nominated him for the Department of Arts and Culture “Debut Awards” (2019). He is also celebrated by his community and Sunday World as a national “Unsung Heroes” nominee (2023).

Religion & Spirituality

Religion – any system of faith and worship.

Spirituality – of or relating to sacred things or matters; religious.

My conceptual approach in creating this body of work is to express the firmness of my belief in historical Judeo-Christianity through photography at a place of worship, founded by Martin Luther – whose theocentric writings have a great influence on my theological framework. The photographs are intended to convey a sense of participation; because my philosophical worldview is Christlike to such an extent that I always seek to apply biblical teachings in thought, word, and deed.  

I am particularly interested in showing the relationship between text, symbols, sacraments, attire, portraiture, exoteric objects, and my system of faith. The metaphorical use of motion blur, repetition, proportionality, harmony, and colour play a crucial role in the cohesion of my visual language as I engage in worship.