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IQHAZA (article first published : 2005-09-5)

Iqhasa is the title of a ceramic exhibition by Clive Sithole, an internationally renowned self-taught working artist living in Durban. He has shown his works nationally and internationally and many of his pottery pieces are in the various Municipal Art Galleries, corporate and private collections.

His works are found in many local galleries, art shops, craft magazines and school syllabi. Although he has been associated with the BAT Centre for many years, this is to be his first solo exhibition at the venue.

Clive has dedicated this exhibition to the late Nesta Nala, a well-known and award-winning ceramist whose ground-breaking work won her international recognition. Despite this, Clive believes that she was “used by the system” and wants to bring to the public's attention to “how South African artists of international calibre have been treated”.

This exhibition will serve as a tool to showcase KZN's traditional culture. As a potter, Clive is embodying the culture of the Zulu that is still embraced. He was fortunate to work with Nesta Nala at Tugela Ferry and got to know the family and Clive considers Nesta as one of his main inspirations.

Apart from Zulu pottery, Clive has been influenced by Zulu artefacts. He uses the Zulu headrest on his art works as his vocabulary medium for his pots. In his latest works, he has used the symbol of a cow horn to remind the people that “the culture of Black People revolves around cattle” and that as a young boy he used to make cattle out of clay. Although his work is contemporary, he has managed to bring the element of ethnicity to his work.

At the moment Clive is one of the facilitators for the Artist In Action Residency Programme at the BAT Centre. He has assisted many of the previously disadvantaged artists living around the Durban and rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal. Clive plans to become a Rorke’s Drift artist and his dream is to infiltrate the local township where there is a need for ceramics to be demonstrated as a viable career choice. He says he finds it “very difficult to work under tribal authority, as they get intimidated by their lack of understanding of art and craft”. He is also teaching Zulu pottery in Kent, England.

The exhibition opens on September 7 to run until September 21. More information from Njabulo Mtshali (curator) on 031 332 0451.




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