Woven Legacies: Celebrating African Artistry

Timed Online Auction, 6 - 20 February 2024

Woven Legacies

Sold for

ZAR 58 625
Lot 22
  • Bheki Dlamini; A Zulu figural telephone wire basket
  • Bheki Dlamini; A Zulu figural telephone wire basket


Lot Estimate
ZAR 60 000 - 65 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 58 625
Location
Cape Town

About this Item

South Africa 1957-2003
A Zulu figural telephone wire basket
the interior depicting the Springbok champions at the 1995 Rugby World Cup
5cm high by 38cm diameter

Notes

Bheki Dlamini, a pioneering figure in weaving, earned acclaim as a Master Weaver for his exceptional skills. Notable for his innovative approach, Dlamini departed from traditional Zulu patterning by incorporating figures and texts into his baskets. This unique method transformed each basket into a dynamic canvas, showcasing his artistic talent and making a lasting impact on the weaving community.

Dlamini's artistic exploration was not merely about aesthetics; it was a profound reflection of his staunch traditionalism and unwavering patriotism towards the new South Africa. Through his intricate designs, he intricately wove narratives that celebrated national events and sporting triumphs. His baskets became vibrant tapestries capturing the spirit of a nation in transition, and he skillfully melded tradition with contemporary themes.1

The work is notable for depicting Chester Williams, the only Person of Colour on the South African rugby team. Williams managed to score 4 tries for the Springboks helping South Africa win the cup. Nelson Mandela can also be seen standing next to captain Francois Pienaar whose identifiable blonde hair is marked out by a distinctive white wire, above which he raises the trophy. The basket is a prime example of Bheki Dlamini’s work whose unique style incorporated the depiction of national historic events.

Literature

1 David Arment and Marisa Fick-Jordan (2005) Wired: Contemporary Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets, Sante Fe: S/C Editions, pages 45-46.

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