Andile Dyalvane_Clay Formes book by Art Formes




b. 1978

from rock and riverbed

fig. andile dyalvane, nyulu (2019)

Andile Dyalvane_Clay Formes book by Art Formes

Andile Dyalvane was born near Qobo-Qobo in the Eastern Cape and spent his childhood embedded in traditional rural Xhosa lifeways, developing an intimate relationship with umhlaba (the land, clay, mother earth). Dyalvane obtained a National Diploma in Art and Design at Sivuyile Technical College in Gugulethu (Cape Town) as well as a National Diploma in Ceramic Design from Port Elizabeth Technikon in 2003. As a member of the International Academy of Ceramics, Dyalvane has participated in residencies in Denmark, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan. His work is widely exhibited in museums across the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His work emerges from the mud, in communion with ancestral clay. His work is bovine, horned, dreamed, sometimes red-breasted and lilac-winged, sometimes lacerated with tectonic fissures, sometimes armed with careful geometries.

andile dyalvane


from rock and riverbed

Andile Dyalvane’s artworks are muddied landscapes, the earth worn smooth, and fissures of the hard-baked ground. It is impossible to separate the artist from the dried riverbed that is childhood carried through into adulthood. This particular body of work – born from Dyalvane’s residency at Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall (United Kingdom), during 2019 – pulls spectacularly from the natural world. This oeuvre draws on the sublime nature of the earth’s landscapes. Dyalvane takes from tradition, from the sounds in his studio, from his experiences, and from a solemn reverence for the earth and its natural forms.

Andile Dyalvane’s interaction with clay is the movement of it in relation to his own body. It begins with the rhythmic pounding of the medium 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 speed rarely found even amongst the most adept ceramic masters. The studio, nestled on a quiet road in Woodstock, throbs with the thick air of burning imphepho leaves (the space nostalgic for Dyalvane’s birthplace) 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. Hand-coiling voluminous forms, the sweat pouring from his brow as he lumbers forwards and backwards. As he moves, by extension, so do the pieces. Long after the forms are finished, they hold the movement that made them. Dyalvane’s ceramic works act as acknowledgements of the various natural environments in which the artist has found himself during his life: both red spirited earth from his native Eastern Cape and the landscapes further afield, layering one on top of the other over time like layers of skin.

“These are the unsaid things pushing up against the surface of Dyalvane’s forms: the wrath of a storm, the glaze reminiscent of rain running off a window, washing the mud away – we see earth, mud, and a deep oceanic blue. A house perched on the edge. Rock crevice and cliff.” 

Andile Dyalvane_Clay Formes book by Art Formes

fig. andile dyalvane, Cornish Waterfall (2019)

read more with our publication

Clay Formes

contemporary clay from south africa

CLAY FORMES is the first of its kind: a survey of contemporary clay from South Africa. This volume, through exquisite photography and literary essays, showcases multiple generations of living South African artists, each innovating the potentialities of clay and ceramics. This publication offers enthusiasts and collectors a glimpse into the studios of thirty important South African artists and opens a window into the complexity of each body of work, revealing the richness of both contemporary clay and ceramic tradition within South African art.

Andile Dyalvane_Clay Formes book by Art Formes

This publication has sought to reflect its subject: to be as fluid as water and as weighty as earth. All this is done in the hopes of leaving behind a fresh approach to this manifold medium, and of presenting to the world the previously unexplored richness of sculptural clay in South Africa.

Dedicated to contemporary clay and ceramics from South Africa. The first publication of its kind, published by Art Formes.