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Change the world


This article, about an NMMU Alumnus, appeared in The Sowetan on 1 April 2016 written by Patience 

Artist takes the ancestors to USA

Eastern Cape-born visual artist Majolandile Dyalvane will fly the South African flag when he exhibits his creations at the Friedman Benda Gallery in New York. Titled Camagu, it's set to open on June 23 until August.

Dyalvane will present 23 pieces to the US audience. Born in 1978, he specialises in craft and design, and regards himself as a ceramicist. With Camagu - a Xhosa term meaning gratitude - he is celebrating and acknowledging the talent that his ancestors have given him. While many artists speak their minds on canvas and in wood, Dyalvane creates magic with clay. He produces ceramic screens, lights, and huge vases. In the making of his unique crafts, he uses fire, water and air. "I've always wanted to do a solo show, creating works I'd only ever dreamed of producing. I have been doing this for 17 years with success, that is why it is important to acknowledge the people who blessed me with this talent. This is the gift I've been given, and I'm practising it, and so I'm receiving more." Dyalvane celebrates the Xhosa and African heritage through his works.

As someone who has been creating beautiful ceramic creations for years, he believes he would not have succeeded if it were not for his ancestors. The artist says most of the designs he creates come to him through dreams - whether he is sleeping or walking during the day. "I normally interpret cultural experiences and current surroundings and add an element of tradition and custom to the works. I am actually proud that my work represents the African culture and keeps the heritage alive." Born in Qoboqobo, Eastern Cape, he has the ability to work on huge pieces which showcase his exceptional talent and passion for his craft. Dyalvane was the winner of South Africa's Southern Guild Design Foundation Icon Award in 2014. Through Trevyn and Julian McGowan of Southern Guild, he was able to net an opportunity to exhibit in the US.

He says the New York based gallery has been looking for an African artist for some time to represent Africa in terms of technique and style "I am glad that I happened to be that artist that they were looking for. I am truly honoured to be chosen to represent not only South Africa but Africa. This is any artist's wish." Dyalvane believes that through working with this medium he is acknowledging his calling and finding a way to practise it successfully.

He received a national degree in art and design from Sivuyile Technical College in 1999 and a national degree in ceramic design from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2003. He founded Imiso Ceramics with Zizipho Poswa. It is based in Woodstock in Cape Town.

Photo by: Justin Patrick

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