Rebecca Matibe - whose works have been exhibited as far as The National Art Centre in Tokyo - is a master craftsperson who’s continued the Venda pottery tradition with excellence and innovation.
It is only fitting then that her pottery be included in the Standard Bank African Collection. But while her works show a fluid continuity of an age-old tradition, they also illustrate how true beauty hinges on simplicity, and how this simplicity can transform a potentially ordinary object into something arrestingly beautiful.
In particular this piece also alludes to flowers as a metaphor and vehicle for creative expression. Consider Monet’s garden in Giverny and, maybe more importantly, Georgia O’Keeffe’s intimate depictions of flowers as metaphors for female sexuality, repressed and expressed.
Angelo Kakande takes this interpretation further in Voice Overs – WITS Writings Exploring African Artworks, demonstrating that “creativity can interrogate flowers, invent languages or metaphors and expand mundane practices, thus forcing traditions to translate into radical forms or meanings”. Kakande goes on to say it, “therefore demonstrates and celebrates a rupture and radical shift in the traditional borders of Venda pottery…”
This piece’s bold reds and greens and its cacti form also evokes echoes of Freda Kahlo’s work - traditional yet modern, feminine, bold and confident, yet humble.