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The Art of Fun
by Kristi South
I like to have fun. It’s a simple word, and a simple concept, but fun is universal and should be highly valued.
I create functional art so that it can serve the user in their everyday lives. I am a clay artist, and it fascinates me that this mix of weathered rock can have such vast potential. My art feeds your soul. I create objects that adorn your dinner table and your garden. I’ll send you away with musical instruments that will set you in sync with the rhythm of the universe.
There’s a recurrent theme to my work, and that is of making faces. I began with a planter, and put a face on it just for fun. It charmed me so much that soon there were more. The characters that were emerging out of the clay were so delightful that they grew personalities and received names. I began to build “Mug mugs”, face jugs, and water dispensers.
Apart from the pots with faces, I’ve become passionate about Udus. The Nigerian instrument called the Udu is made entirely of clay and has an incredibly rich history. These instruments are said to echo the voices of their ancestors. I’ve experimented with different shapes, sizes and other variables that affect playability and sound. Anyone with a heartbeat can play them and they are a lot of fun. If I could share them with my community, I would feel my mission as an artist a success.