WSU artist masters in US

Go! & Express - - NEWS - SIPHOKAZI VUSO

Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity alum­nus and in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed ce­ramic artist Sim­phiwe Mbun­yuza, 29, has been granted a full schol­ar­ship to com­plete his mas­ter’s de­gree in fine arts at the Univer­sity of Ok­la­homa in the USA.

Along with the ful­ly­funded schol­ar­ship Mbun­yuza, who hails from But­ter­worth, has also been given a po­si­tion as an as­sis­tant teacher at the univer­sity.

“In Au­gust last year, I met Pro­fes­sor Stu­art Asprey, who hap­pened to be a lec­turer in

France while we were at­tend­ing the same ce­ramic res­i­dency pro­gramme in a vil­lage called Val­lar­i­ous,” Mbun­yuza said.

“I told him I would

like to study abroad and he sug­gested I ap­ply but did not prom­ise any­thing.

“I ap­plied in Jan­uary this year and I for­tu­nately got ac­cepted.”

Mbun­yuza said his source of in­spi­ra­tion for most of his art works stemmed from African cul­ture.

“The source of in­spi­ra­tion is not al­ways con­sis­tent.

“Some pieces are a prod­uct of ideas that come through African cul­tural mu­sic, na­ture, read­ing and ran­dom sketch­ing.

“But some­how I try by all means to present these ideas in a more

cul­tural way in or­der to pre­serve and main­tain our cul­tural ide­olo­gies and el­e­ments that makes us unique and gen­uine,” Mbun­yuza said.

Last year, he was among a group of artists to par­tic­i­pate in the Artists in Res­i­dence pro­gramme which af­forded him an op­por­tu­nity to ex­hibit his work in China at the Yun Zhu Cre­ative Art Cen­tre.

De­spite teach­ing and study­ing at the Univer­sity of Ok­la­homa, Mbun­yuza plans to re­turn to home soil to es­tab­lish a ce­ramic man­u­fac­tur­ing fac­tory, as well as to open his own gallery space.

“I miss the South African na­ture, my son and my fam­ily,” Mbun­yuza said.

Fine art lec­turer John Steele praised Mbun­yuza for his ded­i­ca­tion to his craft.

“I taught him for about four years.

“I could tell from the be­gin­ning that he was very deep-think­ing and very hard-work­ing.

“It’s very ex­cit­ing and it’s a dream come true when we see one of our stu­dents mak­ing their own mark,” he said.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED.

AC­CLAIMED CE­RAM­I­CIST: Sim­phiwe Mbun­yuza works on his next mas­ter­piece

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