Kraaifontein ceramicist Simphiwe Mbunyuza
Kraaifontein ceramicist Simphiwe Mbunyuza is flying the country’s flag high, as one of five international artists selected to participate in the Artists in Residence Vallauris programme in France.

Delighted to have been chosen and to be given the opportunity to express himself internationally, Mbunyuza arrived in the French town last week. He has one month to produce a body of work that will be exhibited in Vallauris from August 5-11.

“I am glad to be offered the chance of getting exposure overseas. It is a great opportunity for me to meet local artists and learn from international counterparts”, he said.

Mbunyuza is sharing a studio with two American artists and one from Mexico.

“I feel comfortable investing my constant efforts in this cultural effervescence. Together, we share our knowledge, along with skills that enable us to tackle the difficulties we might face”, he said.

Born in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, Mbunyuza studied Fine Arts at Walter Sisulu University. He is currently living in Kraaifontein and his ceramics are often displayed around Cape Town.

Mbunyuza draws his inspiration from the environment in which he grew up and the diverse tribes that were embraced in his surrounding.

“My art carries the richness of African identity in terms of day-to-day cultural objects that were used by Africans, particularly Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele people,” he said.

The artist grounds his work in observing the way people from tribes respond to natural resources and interact with clay through making coiled pots.