For our tenth collection, 'In Flow', in collaboration with South African ceramist artist Andile Dvalyane. His complex, large-scale ceramic artworks are guided by a spiritual connection to his Xhosa ancestors, and serve as a metaphorical vessel to honour his cultural traditions and share his journey of healing.

For the first time, we have used a sculptural piece as inspiration for our Artist Collaboration sweater, with the clay and intentional indents of Dyalvane's artwork influencing the design. We interviewed him about his creative process, the inspiration behind our collaboration, and the significance of intuition and ritual in the design process, including his Scarified collection. Together, we hope to inspire others to embrace their cultural heritage and embark on their own journey of healing through creativity and self-expression.

 

Can you walk us through the process behind your Scarified Collection?

This collection was birthed many years ago, possibly twenty-two years ago. The attempt to create works that have light penetrating through them via scalpel slits was the idea and it worked for my sold-out exhibition at the UCT Irma Stern gallery museum. While making these conical vessels the realisation came through memory, or perhaps an ancestral guide I feel, reflecting the distinct ritual practice of scarification within various customs here in Africa. I had undergone such within my father's calling that it be done with all his children. Noting our family as protected by healing these cuts with particular herbs assigned to the lineage of our homestead. Locating us on the map of our ancestral tree, rooting our physical vessels to the greater network of clan and community. These scalpel markings are in my workflow with ease as it's practised with each piece created. Not fully cutting through the clay but engaging with the tension of clay density, delicate parting and pushing from within.

 

The mix of blues and reds in your sculptures is truly inspiring. How do you choose colours for your work that are so often reflected in your sculptures?

The spectrum of colours within traditional Xhosa beadwork influences colour codes and vibrations within my work. White, red and blue fall into these symbolic colour codes of the amaXhosa tribe to whom I belong.

What is your design process like, and where do you draw inspiration from?

Drawing is essential albeit that I sketch less of the works that are Imiso founder collections because they've become extensions of a practised hand.

From sketches, only used as guides, aspects of chosen motifs and finishes are explored. Conical shapes are wheel thrown, giving a good blank clay vessel canvas of sorts [to work from]. Easy to clean any colour spills off of before final firing.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring sculptors? What lessons have you learned from your experience that inspire you?

Subjects may come from the memories and stories you know well yet remember there's the story of what's becoming, watching, learning and discovering new things. Herein lays the balance of what gets energised and spirited into being. 

Remain consistent with improving your values and principles in both spiritual and entrepreneurial endeavours. The business of legacy building requires milestones reached and celebrated with the community.

 

What do you hope the wearer will feel when they wear your work?

Blanketed with a grounded belonging, the Scarified Collection speaks to identifying one's lineage, family standing, spiritual protection and role within the community along with beautifying practices.

 

 

Enjoy these sounds that Andile Dyalvane finds flow in. 

Calm 
Transcendental
Healing
Ancestral Consciousness

Images by Luke Houba and Mikael Hanan. 

Written by Chanelle Naidoo and Kelly Fung.