Artwork Title: Untitled - Artist Name: Zanoxolo Sylvester Mqeku


Zanoxolo Sylvester Mqeku, 2016

From the artist's statement: My work embraces Sand casting, a method of fabrication that is unconventional and rarely explored within ceramic art. As endless searches for possibilities and limitations, trial and error become valuable if further knowledge is to be acquired throughout this quest of making. I draw and imprint in damp sand, then I use clay in liquid form capture these imprints later creating solid positive formations. As a researcher I maintain a state of inquiry even when looking outside the process in order to nourish my intuitive pattern making sessions, sculptural experimentation and manipulating the resulting textures to the fullest. Amongst a range of related casting techniques, my practice considers the use of sand moulds historically and in recent times but never before has such work been carried out to determine sand casting in this manner. Although the drawings and imprints are done instinctively, my experience within a museum of natural history, (palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology) has nourished a pre-occupation with the natural world. Museums can be like time capsules, housing past and present in the form of discoveries, reproductions and displays. The fabrication of my work adopts the character of discovery, transcending the complex problems of excavation, and the themes of mould making and replication, and ultimately the presentation and conservation of forms. My ideals are fluid in reference; the surfaces of my finished forms may imply both plant and animal fossils, shells, African symbolism, extra-terrestrial materials and found objects.

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