Once upon a time is an exhibition by Thafa Dlamini and Siza Mkhize which
will be opened at the Bat Centre Democratic gallery on the 7th of December
2001. They have chosen this title because it relates to their art which is
made using traditional method of beadwork and its inspiration comes from the
traditional folk stories.
Their style has been reinvented with the use of
various colours and designs to suit the present times. Siza believe that art
is made from another dimension and that artists must not try to do realism
but need to have their own invention and interpretation in order to come up
with a creative artwork.
Siza displayed creative interest at a young age, attending various art
development workshops over the years. In 1999 he attended a dollmaking
workshop at the Durban Art Gallery which introduced him to crafting with
beads. With much enthusiasm he encouraged his common wife Thafa to try her
hand at it, as this is not usually a craft form practised by men. From
modest beginnings they have developed their own style and imagery in their
truly unique beaded sculptures of angels and chameleaons.
Siza makes the wire armatures which Thafa then clads in fabric and
embellishes with glass beads in decorative patterns. Their craft products
allow them to work from home enabling them to look after their two young
children. They received a Merit Award in the FNB Vita 2000 Craft exhibition
and are presently preparing for their first solo at the Bat Centre.