“From the muddy river banks of the Transkei, playing with clay making bulls and cows, to being a fully qualified ceramic designer, Chuma’s career has come a long way.” – Elle Decor Magazine
I arrived early for the Elle Decor photo shoot with Chuma Maweni. The studio, Art In The Forest, set amongst tall trees and a short walk up a dirt road in the Constantia Nek, is all in glass and part of the nature that surrounds it. I took a walk around the building and found old chipped pots, alloas planted in some of them and birds drinking out of clay bowls. It made me feel excited to go inside and see the art this place creates.
Chuma was inspired by all the nature around him, from muddy banks in Transkei to these Cape vineyard and forest covered landscapes. His brown and green ceramic pieces reflect all that surrounds him. It was a peaceful and creative day watching, learning and photographing Chuma while he was making his art.
I learned the importance of how much influence the circumstances and the surroundings have on an artist and his art. Art is a form of recording history and every person is part of that history, that is why i believe that we all have stories to tell. Some are in words, others are photographs or paint and for artists like Chuma Maweni, Andile Dyalvane and Anthony Shapiro, clay is the birth of their stories.
Video: Native American Pottery Making 1920-1949 / You Tube
Article: Kristina Stojiljkovic
Photography: Kristina Stojiljkovic
Magazine: photos published in Elle Decoration