Ceramist Clive Sithole explores watercolour monotypes in recent collaboration


Artist Clive Sithole recently spent time in the David Krut Workshop (DKW) to create watercolour monotypes in collaboration with DKW. These newly produced works by Sithole will be featured in the group exhibition, Alone of its Kind, opening in 2022 and celebrating the monotype technique in the work of artists collaborating with the DKW. A monotype is a single impression created from a matrix applied with paint or ink, meaning that this printing technique yields just a single, unique work.

Sithole, who works in a variety of mediums and is known specifically for his ceramics, was first introduced to watercolur monotypes through the DKW. Monotypes allow for a vast range of marks – from soft and subtle washes to bold and defined colour – which lends spontaneity and freedom to the artist and which could be seen as an almost natural fit for Sithole who mostly creates in the as-explorative medium of ceramics.

A watercolour monotype is created by transferring water-soluble mediums such as watercolour paint, pencils or crayons applied to a plate, to dampened paper. The image gets transferred from the plate to the paper once the dampened paper goes through the printing press, creating a unique and non-replicable print. “Working from loose charcoal sketches Clive experimented with the fluidity of liquid from the pigments and water in contrast to bold colourful lines drawn with Stabilo Woodies”, says DKW printer Roxy Kaczmerek who worked with Sithole on creating his monotypes.

Sithole’s work generally centers on issues of land, race, politics and culture and often incorporates traditional Zulu symbols and techniques to further enhance his work.

Sithole who works from the BAT Centre in KwaZulu-Natal was born in Soweto, Johannesburg, in 1971. He earned a post-graduate diploma at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2007, and has since been honored with multiple national awards and has his work included in collections in museums in South Africa, Germany, Denmark, and the United States.

Come see Sithole’s watercolour monotypes in up-close at Alone of its Kind (David Krut Projects, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg) in early 2022.

Further reading:

Glossary of printmaking terms