My story begins at our old house in a township called Ntuzuma where my
great grandmother would take care of me while everyone went to work and school. That’s as far back as I can trace and for the most part it was here that art “found” me.

It was something I’d do to stay out of trouble and never really thought anything of it to be honest.

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When the time came I went to school with everyone and I’d continue drawing whenever I had some downtime but even then I would’ve never imagined that this would be what I’d be doing for a living. I think the thing you’re meant to be has a way of finding its way to you eventually.

I think the thing you’re meant to be has a way of finding its way to you eventually.

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I don’t know if I had a moment of revelation. It’s just something that was always there for me. When I was happy I drew. When I was sad I drew. For me the idea of being able to express myself has always been the driving force behind what I do.

My current series is called “/52.177” or “Of 52.177” and is a personal project that I started a few years ago. Amongst many other themes I explore those of my own rebirth, life, death and the self.

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I’ve lived this series for close to three years and each piece has been an absolute trip. The response from the audience has been something that I will cherish forever because it always catches me off-guard.


My name is Sphelele “Ellsphee” Gumede and I’m a multidisciplinary Art Director and Designer living and working in Durban, South Africa.

Instagram @ellsphee

Categories: Features

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