Our December laurel goes to the South African ceramicist Andile Dyalvane for his powerful vessel titled, uTyityilizi. The title derived from the Xhosa word uku-tyibilika meaning slide. Tyityilizi is a place to slide. His work evokes the traditional burnished pots, but he builds on this with beautifully worked surfaces and a scarification based on the Latin alphabet.
We asked Andile about these letters:
The letters in my work always feature from time to time. They are part of the found objects that I collect when I am looking for inspiration. These particularly were a gift from my wife nine years ago. They are from an old typewriter that she found in a thrift shop. She dismantled it and took the keys and packed them as a gift as she knew that I use found objects to create texture.
I chose the title because the iindonga collection is based on the dongas soil erosion, where I spent my childhood playing games like sliding on the slope and collecting clay while looking after my father’s live stock. Hence tyityilizi – the pot is shaped like a slippery slide slope.
Andile was born in Ngobozana, near Qobo-Qobo on the Eastern Cape. In 1996 he enrolled in Sivuyile Technical College in Gugulethu, Cape Town to study art and graduated top of his class at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University of Technology, NMMU. From 1999, he worked in the Potters Shop and Studio. Imiso Ceramics Gallery & Studio is located at The Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock (Design district). His private studio is in Saltriver, which is five minutes walk away.