How do your sculptured forms and their stories evolve? The method in which I approach my sculptures is spontaneous. There is no planning around what the end piece will look like. No sketches, just ideas that need executing. I have a rough idea of the pose and tackle the anatomy of the piece in a meticulous manner. But the mood and the feeling of the finished piece is all decided in the final hours of the process. This is the best part because there’s no ‘wrong’ way to do it. It is intuitive and can be infuriating at times. I build a relationship with each piece and I think about its story while its being created. The mood I’m in when I sculpt also reflects in the piece. Only once I have been through these steps can I decide on a title, and a story. Sometimes, I leave the story to the viewer to decide.
Your greatest inspiration? I’m inspired most by the juxtaposition that one finds in nature. It has both random beauty that is extremely difficult to mimic, and perfect symmetry.
What informed your choice of material? When it comes to the material I sculpt in, it’s the properties that my wax-based clay and wax have that allow me to get some of the textures and effects that I use frequently in my work. But for the final product, especially in the sculpting world, bronze rises above all others. Bronze as a material offers a permanence and at the same time an ongoing mutability in response to the environment.
What was the first work you ever made? As a child of five, I did an oil painting on a canvas that my father stretched for me. It was of a pink seagull on an orange sea - my perception of a sunset. My mother still has it hanging in her bathroom.
Your favourite work to date? It would have to be a piece titled The Young Man And The Sea. It’s a piece that speaks to me.
How would you best describe yourself? Determined and passionate about the things I do, and the people in my life.
Why did you chose to ditch Pratt? It really stunted my creative process. As mentioned before, my summer in Simon’s Town set the bar for me in respect of what I was expecting out of a tertiary education in the arts. As a child of Africa, I also didn’t enjoy the culture and the lifestyle of living in downtown Brooklyn. I felt like a fish out of water. I knew that if I focused hard on what I wanted, and was disciplined in my practice, I could make it without an institution’s name behind me.
Your favourite icon? My father.
What are your most recent works? I’m very excited about a recent commission I did for a centre piece in the new rose garden at Vergelegen Estate. Then there is my second solo show at the Jan Royce Gallery in Cape Town last November, which did very well.
What does being an ‘African’ artist mean to you? The potential in African art is immense and Africa is growing at a rate that is unprecedented elsewhere on the planet. I feel that being an African artist means we have a responsibility to document this change in the best way we know how – through our art.
What are you listening to at the moment while working? Nils Frahm ‘Says’; Tame Impala ‘Elephant’; Crash Test Dummies ‘I Think I’ll Disappear Now’; The Verve ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’.
The best gift you’ve received recently? A couple of anatomically correct medical grade models — I refer to them all the time.
What do you do to relax? Surf, sculpt, listen to great music.
Adventure is clearly always on your agenda. Where are you planning to travel to next? A trip to the Mentawaii Islands off Padang in Indonesia. Ten days in the Sumatran jungle with warm water, waves, and untouched marine life. Time to do some exploring, and time for some inspirational research.
Where do we find your work? Object Design Art in Franshhoek, Jan Royce Gallery in Cape Town, and S Art in Hout Bay.