O-Mix clay
750 x 800 x 580 mm

About the artwork

In honour of Ngobeni’s late mother, the artist’s work examines cultural perceptions of funeral urns within the African context. “I use anthropomorphism as a tool to create new meaning,” Ngobeni explains. Cremation is considered taboo in African cultures as it is believed to block the spirit of the dead, but Ngobeni’s funeral urns liberate the artist while celebrating his mother’s physical and spiritual existence. “My late mother was the only one amongst her siblings who went through the ritual process of scarification, which was significant for her eyesight. Therefore, I incorporate scarification in my practice and acknowledge its history.”

Xirilo Wyne Ngobeni