Zizipho Poswa was born on 5th December 1979 in Umtata, a town in the provincial Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Having completed her formative and secondary level schooling in 1998 and being creative from a young age, upcycling found materials into wearable crafts, she naturally averted her attention to art (a subject not offered at school). Studying toward a National Certificate in Art & Design (N4) at Russell Road College in Port Elizabeth (P.E), Eastern Cape in1999, set her off on her richly rewarding creative path.
Eager to expand her knowledge in design, she enrolled at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to gain a National Diploma in Textile Design Technology and graduated in 2010. Her studies were staggered over time due to various industry career opportunities and co-founding Imiso Ceramics. Poswa as co-director of Imiso Ceramics, stretched her initial vocational materiality from textiles to imprinting her voice in clay. Interpreting ethereal aesthetics akin to a variety of light textiles quickly became recognisable notes within her high-end collection of hand-pinched ceramics.
Imiso Ceramics Studio and Gallery is based in Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill, Albert Road, an arms throw from Cape Town’s Central District, where Poswa began her creative business with a handful of tertiary fellows in 2006.
Her much sort after handcrafted works accredits her ability to manage both the business of administratively running two studios (one in-house, another private) and the production aspects of her work. Successfully guiding the business with partner Andile Dyalvane who heads design production of this well established creative enterprise.
Inspired by her African heritage, Art and Textiles, vibrant colour pallets and bold interiors, paired with an entrepreneurial spirit, she creates her signature collections of Hand- Pinched ceramics. Working alongside an exceptional Imiso Ceramics team, her designs, organic textures, bright glaze and underglaze colours are achieved on confidently feminine forms.
Relating designs inspired by bold reliefs of carved African artefacts that emerge from electrifying matt finished vessels or from oxide weather washed textured surfaces highlighting sparse or densely embossed impressions to there uniquely delicate and distinct handmade attributes. Poswa’s work embodies an earthy elegance and visually inviting allure.
Successful collaborations with local and international fashion and home interior brands such as Trenery Guild -Woolworths, Mr Price Home ‘Limited Designer Editions’, West Elm (USA) and Anthropology(UK) are on Poswa’s list of stockists supplied over the course of her career. Her collectable ceramic works, draw inspiration from personal narratives, as a Xhosa woman and an artist, living within the intriguing multiplicities of contemporary South Africa.
Her large statement oeuvres, some of which have proudly been acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 2019 and those forming part of various private collections both locally and internationally, suggest an actively attuned interest in her expressions.
Depictions of village women and their praised characteristics both inward and collectively are emotive in Poswa’s spherical or cluster balancing sculptural forms. Featured within the ‘Deeper than Text’ Dialogues and Exhibition presented by 1st Dibs and the Female Design Council at The 1st Dibs Gallery in Manhattan USA in 2019, affirms her relevance as a clear voice gifted to the cultural experiences and expressions of African women.
Poswa’s ‘Collectible Design’ signatures are represented by the notably acclaimed Southern Guild Gallery, a career opportunity that serves as an extension of her established creative practice. Exhibiting at Design Miami, PAD London and The Salon Art + Design in New York with respective representational alignment, guidance and facilitation, furthering the reach of her narratives with a greater audience.
Awarded the “Market Development” accolade for achievement within the Craft Sector by the Cape Craft Design Institute locally and a finalist of “The woman in Tourism Awards” by the City of Cape Town in the Arts and Culture category and honoured with the prestigious Mbokodo award in 2017. Her works have gone on to be nominated as ‘Most Beautiful Object in South Africa’ a highly notable Design Indaba awards initiative aimed at celebrating a selection of the best design innovators in South Africa.
An assemblage of publications including design acclaimed ‘Wall Paper Magazine’, as well as ‘Private Edition’ publications both print and online features, trace the steady rise of Poswa’s inherent creative luminary flame.
Museum of Philadelphia, USA, 2020
Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art (LACMMA), USA, 2018
Iziko Museums of Southern Africa, Cape Town, SA, 2009
Showrooms & Boutiques:
Anthropology stores, UK
ABC home, USA
JVB’s Chelsea Harbour Showroom, London
Atlanta Trade Hub, USA
Kanju interiors, Dallas, USA(*Active)
Imiso Ceramics Gallery (Primary 2006 to date)
Southern Guild Gallery, Cape Town (representative) 2017-to date
Smac gallery, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, 2020
Roam Gallery, USA, 2019
Le Motte Wine Estate Gallery, 2014
Nominee, ‘Most Beautiful Object’ Award, Design Indaba S.A
Finalist, Innibos Craft Awards, 2019
Mbokodo Award, Traditional and Ingenious Category, SA, 2017
‘Fellowship Award’, Ceramics Southern Africa Association, Western Cape, 2017
Finalist, Visi Magazine Award t in the ‘Design Category’ 2009
Finalist, City of Cape Town ‘Woman, Tourism Award’- Arts and Culture Category, 2009
Cape Craft Design Institute, “Market Development’ Accolade for Achievement in the Craft Sector 2009
Stellenbosch Woordfees Exhibition, 2020
‘Deeper Than Text Exhibition’ 1st Dibs Gallery, New York, 2019
‘Colour Field Exhibition’, Southern Guild gallery, Cape Town, 2018
‘Ideas in Transit Exhibition’, Hamburg Arts and Craft Association, 2018
‘Extraordinary Exhibition’, Southern Guild gallery, Cape Town, 2017
Imbadu Collective- Group Exhibition, Cape Town, 2015
Moooi Gallery Exhibition, 2012
“Ekapa” Exhibition Bluecoat Display Center in Liverpool, UK, 2011
Fairs – National & International:
Investec Art Fair, Cape Town, SA, 2020
Salon New York, USA, 2019
Pad London, UK, 2019
Design Miami, USA, 2018, 2019
Joburg Design, Johannesburg, SA, 2017
New York Gift Fair, USA 2013, 2014, 2015
Top Drawer, London, UK, 2010, 2011,2012
Design Indaba, Cape Town, SA, 2010, 2011, 2012
Trenery Guild, Woolworths, Limited Edition Pinched Espresso Cup Sets, 2020
Sanlam Corporate Gifting Range design, 2018
MUA Insurance Acceptances, Broker Award’s Trophy design, 2018
Mr Price Home, Traditional ‘Ndlovu’ Fleece Throw design Collaboration, 2016
West Elm USA, Pinched Breakfast (tableware) Collection Collaboration, 2013
Publication Features – Print & Online:
Coffee Table limited edition book publication, Southern Guild Gallery & BMW, Feb 2020
Wall Paper Magazine, ‘Mould Breaker’, October 2019
Surface Magazine, 2019
House and Leisure, ‘Baked Goods’ June 2019
Sunday Times ‘Home’ print feature, Nov. 2019
Sawubona Magazine(SAA inflight publication), Aug. 2018
Food & Home Magazine, 2018
Pinup Magazine (online), Dec. 2018
Home Owner Magazine, Dec. 2018
Sunday Times ‘Home’, ‘Meet the Maker’ edition, Aug. 2017
House and Leisure, ‘Body of Work’ Special Design Edition, June 2017
De Brief (online) Publication, 2011
Elle Magazine Feature in Collaboration with a Food Stylist Herman Lensing, October 2009
Magazine Television Program Features:
Expresso, SA, 2018
Top Billing, SA, Aug 2017
MWEB Entrepreneur Feature, (streamed online), 2016
Ceramic SA Association, Western Cape