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Fountain of life

Jun 14, 2019 | Featured, REAL|People

Uthomi, a moving new mosaic work by artist Lizette Chirrime was just unveiled at Spier

Stellenbosch wine farm Spier is now home to Uthomi — a large-scale mosaic work and water fountain conceptualised by Mozambican artist Lizette Chirrime. The dynamic vividly coloured work produced by the Spier Artisan Studio was installed earlier this month.

“Spier is a significant and immensely supportive patron partner of the Spier Arts Trust. We work with Spier in a shared-value partnership, managing the Spier Art Collection on the estate,” says the Trust’s director, Mirna Wessels. With more than 3 200 works, the collection is one of the largest contemporary art collections in the country. Its sculptures and artworks can be found throughout the farm – a diverse showcase of different themes, styles and mediums.

Uthomi, which is Chirrime’s first mosaic project, celebrates and showcases her talent for combining colour and abstract form, offering a vibrant playground for the imagination. “We were keen to work with this talented, thoughtful artist not least because her practice – which is often bright, colourful and seemingly playful — is so appropriate for an installation that we hope will engage and intrigue children and adults alike,” says Wessels.

The Maputo-born, Cape Town-based Chirrime’s works are held in a number of collections throughout South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Italy. These pieces, often taking the form of detailed fabric collages, reflect her sometimes tumultuous life’s journey. Having grown up on the coast, she often references water and other elements of nature in her work. Informed by a keen awareness of the negative impact humans can have on the environment, she hopes to inspire and evoke positive change through her art. “Deep inside I believe I come from water. Water is a source of healing, cleansing and letting go,” says Chirrime.

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