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SITHOLE & BLUMENFELD FOR AAC (article first published : 2002-07-16)

The African Art Centre will host an exhibition of hand-built ceramics by South Africa's top ceramists Clive Sithole and Rodney Blumenfeld from July 17. The exhibition will be opened at 17h30 by Suzette Munnik, programme leader in Ceramic Design at Technikon Witwatersrand.

This is a tandem show of new work. Clive will exhibit handbuilt pots, sawdust fired and finely decorated with applied and scraffito designs. He is inspired by traditional Zulu beer pots but has extended the tradition by change of scale and shape. The pots are burnished to a high finish which enhances the shape and decorative elements, pushing them into another category.

Born in Soweto, Clive Sithole developed a flair for fashion design and attended the London International School of Fashion Design, going on to start a business designing and sewing clothing. In 1986 he met and was inspired by Philemon Lerata from Pietermaritzburg University Ceramics Department. In 1997 he moved to Durban and joined the Babumbi Clay Project which was co-ordinated by Cara Walters, a graduate of the Pietermaritzburg University Ceramic Department. During his training at the Babumbi Clay project, his potential was noticed by Prof. Juliette Armstrong who invited him to attend classes in the department. He gained further knowledge and developed a love for traditional Zulu ceramics and firing techniques.

Rodney Blumenfeld is also an architect and his works reflect his interest in space. He makes large standing vessel/sculptures and platter shapes which are textured and decorated with abstracted symbols inspired by the Zulu earplug and traditional beadwork. A former Westville Boys High pupil, Rodney Blumenfeld acquired his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Natal, Durban. In 1995, he was selected to exhibit by the SA Craft Council at Westminister Craft Show in London. He worked in private practise as an architect for six years. He is represented in The Montreal Museum of Modern Art in Canada.

Both artists have exhibited widely. They are recognised both in South Africa and internationally and have their works in public and private collections here and abroad.

This is an especially important exhibition to see two of our best artists exhibiting together at the new African Art Centre Gallery which opened in March this year.




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