From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

A Look at the Inspiration Behind Andile Dyalvane's Striking Sculptures

A Classic Martini

Wine and Spirits

A Classic Martini

A drink from New York City’s Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel

Everything I Now Want After Attending the Masters


Everything I Now Want After Attending the Masters

From cars to clothes to bourbon, covetable things abound at the most prestigious...

Tonga Room, San Francisco.

Wine and Spirits

The Sweet Escape

On the enduring allure of the tiki bar.

South African ceramist Andile Dyalvane is a widely celebrated artist across the continent, but he still finds his creative inspiration from his ancestral home about 500 miles east of his studio in Cape Town.

The 42-year-old artist creates complex, dramatic stoneware pieces—vases, bowls, chairs, and sculptural objects—many with abstract designs and tribal markings influenced by his native Xhosa culture. For “Ithongo” (Ancestral Dreamscape), his next show at Cape Town’s Southern Guild gallery in December (which will then travel to New York’s Friedman Benda gallery next year), he created 20 chairs with different symbols representing concepts like farmer, shaman, or the moon. The emblems came to him in “very vivid visions,” Dyalvane says, and represent that which he believes his community is losing due to the influence of Western culture and migration to South Africa’s urban areas. “These are messages from my ancestors,” he says. “They are helping us to remember. I am using this language, these symbols to communicate in shorthand.”

Related: Malene Barnett Is Putting the Black Aesthetic at the Forefront of Interior Design

The first presentation of “Ithongo” will take place in Ngobozana, the Eastern Cape village where Dyalvane was born and raised. To honor those who have inspired him, he will also leave a few of his pieces among the ruins of the nearby village from which his ancestors were forcibly removed during the apartheid era. “It’s the first showing of this kind in Africa,” says Trevyn McGowan, cofounder of Southern Guild. “Andile has a calling to who he is, where he comes from, and honoring his ancestors. It instills his work with incredible vibration and magnetism.”

For the artist, it’s about giving back. “I’m not only a child to my parents, but to the whole community,” Dyalvane says. “I have to do this for my people and hope that it is going to help them remember, heal, and reinstall their dignity.”


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.

Come On In

U.S. issued American Express Platinum Card® and Centurion® Members, enter the first six digits of your card number to access your complimentary subscription.

Learn about membership.