FORMES

[FROM THE FRENCH / fɔʀm /]

SHAPE | FORM 

ART FORMES showcases contemporary South African artists working with clay in its highest form of sculptural expression. ART FORMES documents these artworks with richer written narratives — becoming in itself, Art Form. 

FORMES

[FROM THE FRENCH / fɔʀm /]

SHAPE | FORM 

ART FORMES IS DEDICATED TO UNCOVERING THE HISTORIES BEHIND AND NUANCES OF CLAY, A HARD-SOFT MATERIAL THAT HAS LONG SINCE BEEN A RICH SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR ARTISTS IN SOUTH AFRICA.

ART FORMES showcases contemporary South African artists working with clay in its highest form of sculptural expression. ART FORMES documents these artworks with richer written narratives — becoming in itself, Art Form.

PUBLISHING

AN ART FORMES PUBLICATION

CLAY

FORMES

Our first printed publication, written and published by ART FORMES, is dedicated to contemporary South African artworks in various forms of clay: CLAY FORMES. This book is the fruit of many literary and photographic explorations around South Africa and it presents a curated selection of artists pushing the medium of clay to its sculptural edge.

COMING SOON

‘Human beings have reached for clay to give flesh to their dreams or to extend the body. The most rudimentary gestures of world-making begin with a fistful of clay. Clay formes wax and wane; they are capable of great frailty and recovery…’

ART FORMES IS DEDICATED TO UNCOVERING THE HISTORIES BEHIND AND NUANCES OF CLAY, A HARD-SOFT MATERIAL THAT HAS LONG SINCE BEEN A RICH SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR ARTISTS IN SOUTH AFRICA.

FEATURED ARTIST

Andile Dyalvane

Andile

DYALVANE

b.1978

CLAY FORMES

Andile Dyalvane’s interaction with clay is the movement of it in relation to his own body. It begins with the rhythmic pounding of clay into long extruded coils that the artist then wraps around his neck and shoulders. Anguine and limp, the clay is propped up by his arms and carried across the room. Dyalvane then feeds the long coil into the work as it turns on its axis, the earth rotating, building it up in layers with a celerity rarely found even amongst the most adept ceramic masters. The studio, nestled within a quiet road in Woodstock, throbs with the thick air of burning imphepho leaves (the space nostalgic for Dyalvane’s birthplace, Ngobozana) and loud mesmeric music playing from a speaker. With the smoke, sounds and ritual for company, Dyalvane coils to the lilting beat — this is his practice.

Andile Dyalvane

ANDILE

DYALVANE

Andile Dyalvane’s interaction with clay is the movement of it in relation to his own body. It begins with the rhythmic pounding of clay into long extruded coils that the artist then wraps around his neck and shoulders. Anguine and limp, the clay is propped up by his arms and carried across the room. Dyalvane then feeds the long coil into the work as it turns on its axis, the earth rotating, building it up in layers with a celerity rarely found even amongst the most adept ceramic masters. The studio, nestled within a quiet road in Woodstock, throbs with the thick air of burning imphepho leaves (the space nostalgic for Dyalvane’s birthplace, Ngobozana) and loud mesmeric music playing from a speaker. With the smoke, sounds and ritual for company, Dyalvane coils to the lilting beat — this is his practice.

These are the unsaid things pushing up against the surface of Dyalvane’s forms: St. Ives Island as the wrath of a storm, the glaze reminiscent of rain running off a window, washing the mud away. Earth, mud, and a deep oceanic blue. A house perched on the edge. Rock crevice and cliff. 

Andile Dyalvane

ESSAYS 

ART FORMES curates, writes and publishes on South Africa’s unfurling ceramic art history.We hold the medium in our minds and hands, paying attention to the particular poetry, nuance, history and tradition embedded within South African clay forme, inspired to elevate the local canon of ceramic fine artists to the world stage. 

‘To pay careful attention to clay itself leads us to the most primal concerns of the body. It is a dig towards some ancient imperative to make meaning from the world. It is a claim to the flesh of the earth, a claim to an ancestor…’

Become part of our community and receive the ART FORMES newsletters that delight in the poetics of clay. Be the first to hear about our upcoming events and the latest on our publication; CLAY FORMES.

Book pre-sales opening soon.

CLAY FORMES

Human history has been imprinted in the archive of clay – here the cavern left by a palm, there a crescent scored by a nail. We can feel the remnants of the potter’s movements: the depth and angle of the gestures which moved the clay before it was frozen by fire or sun.

‘Clay. It is a cold redness – like flesh – or a dry whiteness – like bone. Endless clay appendages have been moulded by human hands. It is a shadow, lying underfoot. It is home overhead.’

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