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Föreläsaren Zizipho Poswa i sin verkstad.

Zizipho Poswa: Clay Totems to My African Heritage

Kultur & språk

Zizipho Poswa will discuss the growth of her artistic practice over the past five years – both in terms of her output and the scale of her individual artworks. Through Imiso Ceramics (the studio she co-founded with Andile Dyalvane in 2006), she had focused predominantly on one-of-a-kind functional pieces but it was only 10 years later that she began to explore the sculptural potential of her medium in earnest.

22 sep 2021
15:00 - 16:30
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See the Zizipho Poswa’s work

Zizipho Poswa

Her works for Southern Guild explore her personal experience and heritage in totemic pieces that have culminated most recently in her solo exhibition, titled iLobola. The 12 sculptures in this collection reach up to two metres high – her biggest yet – each emblazoned with a pair of massive bronze horns that pierce the air.

Their voluminous bases take the form of huge conical teardrops, undulating gourds or giant barrels that invite anthropomorphic associations. Poswa will talk about her process and technique of building these large forms, working with bronze for the first time, and the inspiration she derives from her Xhosa heritage.

For this particular collection, she looked at the African tradition of lobola, or bride-wealth, in which the groom’s family gifts a certain number of cows to the bride’s family after a process of negotiation between the two parties. She will introduce her audience to the particular customs of the lobola process, and why she thinks these still have relevance in our contemporary world.


Zizipho Poswa is a Cape Town-based ceramic artist whose large-scale, hand-coiled sculptures are inspired by her Xhosa heritage. She celebrates the endurance, beauty and sisterhood of African women in totemic works straddling figuration and abstraction. 

Born in 1979 in the town of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, Poswa studied surface design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. In 2006, she and fellow ceramicist Andile Dyalvane co-founded Imiso Ceramics, whose handmade vessels and tableware have earned the studio an international following. Poswa turned her attention to fine art ceramics in 2017, participating in various group shows at Southern Guild and exhibiting with the gallery at fairs such as Design Miami, The Salon Art + Design in New York and PAD London. Her work has ascended rapidly in scale, technique and recognition, and can be found in important private and corporate collections both locally and internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Philadelphia Museum of Art.