Inkobe, Umnandi Ngo Chubelana
For this exhibition, Mbunyuza creates a metaphorical sharing circle. Sculptures are arranged like women in the field surrounded by corn. The pots are representative of the woman and sisters working together. The pieces symbolize his female ancestors. The women traditionally did the field work while the men went to Johannesburg to work in the gold mines. Historically, peeled boiled corn was eaten communally as information was shared. The process of sharing the corn became a warm and welcoming pastime.
Mbunyuza’s forms have an earthy, magical quality. The warm light brown clay body wrapped in bold color with striking geometric lines and patterns evoke a sense of immediacy and the beginning of time; a place where the history of human beings began. Elegant and graphic, Mbunyuza’s forms and colors exemplify the timeless in contemporary art- a bridge to the past.
About Simphiwe Mbunyuza
Simphiwe Mbunyuza (born 1989) is a South African artist and ceramic sculptor based in Johannesburg. His large-scale abstract ceramic work draws inspiration from his Xhosa cultural background and African cultural symbolism. His physical and craftbased approach to ceramics, allows the hand of the maker to be ever-present in each piece. Mapping personally constructed symbols onto his generally very complex, and often very emotive work that embodies narratives of the African culture of Bantu speaking people.
He holds a Masters of Fine Art from The University of Oklahoma and a Fine Art degree from Walter Sisulu University. He has been the subject of numerous exhibitions around the world, including recent presentations by, Gordon Gallery, , African Studies Gallery, Marianne Boesky in Aspen, Colorado, USA, and Gallery 1957 in London and Accra, Ghana, among others. He is the recipient of awards and residencies including Africa First (Shenkar Academy & Bezalel University), Anderson Ranch Arts Centre in 2021; the Red Clay Faction Award and Oscar Jacobson Award from The University of Oklahoma in 2019; John Steele Award for Excellence in Ceramics from The Walter Sisulu University. A residency with Anderson Ranch, A.I.R Vallauris, France, in 2017 and is currently participating on a 2-years residency at world-renowned Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, USA