Zizipho Poswa is a Cape Town-based ceramicist whose large-scale, collectible work takes inspiration from her own narrative as a Xhosa woman and artist living in contemporary South Africa. Alongside lauded South African ceramicist Andile Dyalvane, she co-founded Imiso Ceramics, whose handmade tableware has earned the studio an international following.

Zizipho grew up in the town of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, a stronghold of Xhosa culture. She was raised by her mother, a teacher, who recognised her creativity from a young age and did everything within her means to support it. She studied surface design, majoring in textiles, at the Port Elizabeth Technikon and draws on this textile knowledge to amalgamate the visual stimuli she encounters in her daily life into a simplified pattern language.

Zizipho’s abstract yet tactile hand-pinched bowls, vessels and vases celebrate her love of colour and pattern. Her work for Southern Guild explores her personal experience and heritage in monumental sculptural pieces. Her totemic Umthwalo series is an ode to the load carried by African women and the traditional tasks of gathering wood, collecting water and taking bucket loads of clothing to wash in the river. For the artist, who witnessed these daily rituals as a young girl, this balancing act is analogous to the multiple life-sustaining roles that African women play as they bridge traditional and modern worlds.

The stacked, totemic forms of Umthwalo give way to a monolithic verticality in Ukukhula I and Ukukhula II. This pair of sculptures convey the sense of a growth spurt and plays with the duality of masculine and feminine, aggression and protection. They are indicative of an artist who has come into her own.

Zizipho’s work was acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 2019 and is in important private collections internationally. Her ceramics were included in Deeper than Text, presented by 1stdibs and the Female Design Council at the 1stdibs Gallery in Manhattan in 2019. She has exhibited at Design Miami, PAD London and The Salon Art + Design in New York, and received the prestigious Fellow Award from Ceramic South Africa.

Zizipho Poswa
uMakoti (Bride)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
185 x 52 x 75 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uMakoti (Bride)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
185 x 52 x 75 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uMyeni (Groom)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
188 x 67 x 81 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uMyeni (Groom)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
188 x 67 x 81 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uTatazala (Father-in-law)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
180 x 65 x 105 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uTatazala (Father-in-law)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
180 x 65 x 105 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uNozakuzaku I (Negotiator I)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
140 x 62 x 70 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uNozakuzaku I (Negotiator I)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
140 x 62 x 70 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uNozakuzaku II (Negotiator II)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
114 x 64 x 85 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uNozakuzaku II (Negotiator II)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
114 x 64 x 85 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uNozakuzaku III (Negotiator III)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
147 x 55 x 82 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uNozakuzaku III (Negotiator III)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
147 x 55 x 82 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uBuso beNtombi (Gift for the Bride’s Mother)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
150 x 50 x 72 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uBuso beNtombi (Gift for the Bride’s Mother)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
150 x 50 x 72 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
iSazimzi (Introductory Gift)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
130 x 51 x 75 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
iSazimzi (Introductory Gift)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
130 x 51 x 75 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
iKhazi (Agreed Number of Cows)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
121 x 60 x 67 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
iKhazi (Agreed Number of Cows)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
121 x 60 x 67 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uDuli (Traditional Wedding Ceremony)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
122 x 64 x 83 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uDuli (Traditional Wedding Ceremony)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
122 x 64 x 83 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
iMvulamlomo (Brandy Offering)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
153 x 64 x 80 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
iMvulamlomo (Brandy Offering)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
153 x 64 x 80 cm
One-off

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Zizipho Poswa
uMamazala (Mother-in-law)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
1225 x 62 x 130 cm
One-off

Zizipho Poswa
uMamazala (Mother-in-law)

Glazed stoneware and bronze
1225 x 62 x 130 cm
One-off

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