Born in 1952, I live and work as an artist in Durban North, where I also teach drawing and painting.
I made my firsttinyClay Horse as an experiment after a drawing class in 2006. Making horses was a turning point as an artist and the subject still fascinates me today. During the 30 years before that, I made and exhibited many pots and sculptures. My pots were often coiled and highly decorated in stoneware and porcelain, using many different ceramic techniques, .
I began my Fine Arts Degree in 1971, deciding to major in Ceramics after falling in love with clay. Along with other art disciplines, I studied Art History and Classical Civilizations and both have defined my work as an artist.
My love of the Art ofAncient Civilizations is a powerful influence on my work especially the art of the AncientMinoans, Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Chinese,Egypt, Syrian and Viking Art. These influences manifest themselves in the detailed bands of patterning painted onto my early pots. More recently, ancient art has influences my horse sculptures. My fascination lies in the timeless simplicity of these works often associated with mythology, religion and Nature.
On first seeing ancient artworks, I was totally captivated by their aged surfaces; worn and pitted texture after having survived centuries of being buried underground, or under the sea. Specifically in my horses, I try to capture the textured pitted surface associated with ancient works of art and in order to do this, I have dispensed with glazing, instead relying on creating texture by carving and with slips and metal oxides.
Animals, sea life and plants are a recurrent theme in my work. The art of the Ancient Minoans of Crete and Early Greekvase painting has been a strong influence on my horse sculptures. The Minoans’ love of animals, birds, plants and marine life is seen in their delightful whimsical frescoes and the octopus vases. My use of blues and turquoise colours are linked to the sea surrounding these lands, as well as my love of swimming.
Texture and surface patterning on my horses is something I love to do, creating whimsical relationships between the patterns and the horse. Designs may be derived from carved patterns on ancient craft works such as jewellery, architecture, fabrics or carpets I have seen.
Many of my works include humour and it gives me great pleasure to amuse the viewer by presenting a horse sculpture with a quirky side to it. I sometimes include other animals in my horse sculptures; birds, dogs, cats, or small wild African animals or even an octopus! These may be in whimsical situations, sitting on the horses’ backs. My recent reclining nudes painted sprawling across the horses’ backs are full of fun with their arched hips curving voluptuously over the horses’ rumps! Mostly done in stark black and white, I have drawn on some famous reclining nudes in the history of painting as a reference.
ART TEACHING in addition to my ceramic sculpture, I run a vibrant private art teaching. I love teaching adult students to draw and paint and enjoy the company and interaction. Trained as an art teacher, I taught art in a school, before becoming a ceramic lecturer at Durban University of Technology and now work at home.
1993 Germany - Art of Africa Gallery, Hamburg
1995 Hong Kong – South African Ceramics
2013 France – La Piscine Roubaix Museum – Exhibition of South African Ceramics
Every annual Association of Potters and Ceramics Southern Africa, Regional Ceramic exhibition in KZN, since 1978.
Every National Ceramics Association Exhibition, since 1980.
1988 Joint Award Winner, APSA Corobrik National Ceramics Exhib - Durban Art Gallery.
2012 Premier Award, KZN Ceramic Association of SA Regional - ArtSPACE, Durban.
2014 “Best on Show”, Corobrik National Ceramics Exhibition - Alphen Gallery - Cape Town.
CERAMIC WORKS IN PUBLIC ART COLLECTIONS and MUSEUMS in South Africa
Pretoria Art Museum,
Corobrik Ceramic Collection – now in the Pretoria Art Museum,
Durban Art Gallery,
Nelson Mandela Art Museum - Port Elizabeth,
SASOL Collection of Fine Art - Johannesburg,
Anne Bryant Art Gallery - East London,
Tatham Art Gallery - Pietermaritzburg,
William Humphreys Art Gallery - Kimberly,
Durbanville Clay Museum - W Cape,
Durban University of Technology Art Collection,
Empangeni Art Collection - KZN,
The Phanzi Museum - Durban.
Anglo Boer War Memorial Museum – Bloemfontein
The UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand and South Africa
Ceramic Review (UK) – 3 issues
Contemporary Ceramics by Wilma Cruise
“Venus and the Fish Wife”: Gender Politics in Carol Hayward Fell's Early Ceramics by Art Historian Brenda Schmahmann (2017). This was presented at an international art conference in Ghana in 2017.
“A Community of Artists - 106 Natal Artists” - Kwazulu Natal Society of Arts