Artist Interview: Dudubloom – Investing More, Or Picking Up The Threads

January 24, 2022

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By BRUCE DENNILL

The Investec Cape Town Art Fair returns to its physical space at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 February 2022, and will be the first-ever hybrid Fair. The work of Duduzile More, known as Dudubloom, will be displayed as part of the solo section, with Berman Contemporary.

 

What sort of training have you received and how important do you think it is to seek training (in terms of learning first principles and refining technique)?

I received training as a printmaker at Artist Proof Studio for three years. Receiving training is important for multiple reasons. You’re exposed to multiple perspectives and skillsets from different people. It helps to develop your practice consistently in a fixed environment. Spaces of training work as a space of community, and because of that, it becomes a platform to advance your trajectory. It is also important to note that training does not only mean attending academic institutions. There are many avenues where training can take place; it is a matter of finding the right places, finding skilled mentors and having the initiative and curiosity to enhance your skills.

 

What is your principal medium, and why did you choose it?

Thread/wool and fabric/paper. When I was younger, I always found myself trying to sew or alter my own clothes (not that I was any good at it), so I’ve been using it for a long time. I find my medium to be quite sensory; I’m obsessed with the textures and how it feels sliding through my fingers. The more I work with thread, the more I realise how versatile it is. It is both strong and sensitive; it is used to stitch or hold something together, but if pushed to the limits, it could snap. And mostly, it was the best medium that could express putting an end or adding change to a story, narrative, cycle or trauma for me.

 

Describe the techniques you use most? How complicated are your methods, and why is each step necessary?

Using thread is both not complicated and complicated. Putting the thread in the needle, then tying the knot at the end of the threads then getting started on sewing the desired medium (paper, fabric etc) is ultimately what one needs to do. But what makes the process more easy and productive is planning or sketching what you are about to sew. You have to be mindful about how you handle your thread; it is sensitive and knots easily. It can be a nightmare and a waste of time to try untangling it if it does become knotted. And you have to be patient as someone who uses thread. It is a methodical process and it takes time.

 

What technological tools do you use in your work?

I have not yet used any major technological tools, as my work is still regarded as small scale and I just need to use my needle. That said, I recently made a short playful video ‘May You Find Your Living Too’ (2021 – video installation. Duration: 00:04:55) and a series of five photographs ‘Trusting Enough To Hold Myself’ which was shown in this years’ exhibition: Sun In Your Eyes at Berman Contemporary.

 

Who is the single other artist whose style you most admire, and why?

I’m inspired by many artists for various reasons. It is hard to name one single artist whose work I admire. But currently I have my eye on Joana Choumali, Ghizlane Sahli and Han Cao. They all work with thread. Even though Joana and Han both embroider on photographs, each artist uses their mediums in a unique and creative way.

 

Galleries and other traditional means are only one way of marketing art. What do you believe are the most important other routes, and what is the most important insight you have gained in that area in your career?

Social media has become a major marketing tool for artists. One is able to curate their feeds however they want, without spending too much money on making their work visible. This makes it one of the most accessible routes. Another important way is staying in touch with those who have purchased your work or are interested in doing so, just so that they are able to follow your trajectory. But what I have learnt throughout the years, no matter the type of marketing strategy one uses, the most important method is showing continuous growth and development in your work. That includes growth in where you showcase or exhibit your work, how you maintain and handle your work, the improvement of your artistic skills and getting better at your professional practice. This adds value to your work and in some way, that value markets itself.

 

Why do you create? What are your stated goals in producing art?

I create because that is the best way I know how to function. It is a form of expression, it builds my confidence, and it helps me become self-aware and aware of my surroundings. It creates a world of care and softness for me in a world that can be extremely harsh. In the long run, I hope that it inspires other artists, particularly Black girls and women to be expressive as they want to be and not have to follow what others think art should be or look like. That’s entirely up to the creator.

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