Sakhile Mhlongo specialises in portraiture painted on fabric and canvas using acrylic and oil. Over the years he has painted large-scale realistic portraits, using found fabrics or jacquard cotton as canvases. The fabrics used as canvases were usually discards of curtains so they alluded to domesticity and home and also imparted an intimacy as well as a contemporary quality to the subject. The evolution of his work over time has led him to utilise traditional canvas recently, with honeycomb patterns and flowers as the background of large-sized portraits. The use of honeycombs and flowers symbolises home and an idea of the home space. They also symbolize change and good changes occurring in one’s life where there are honey and bees. A symbol of abundance.
Mhlongo’s work continues to evolve over time as he explores ways to bring life to his art, whilst responding to pertinent social issues and his experiences of the world around him.