Atang Tshikare, "Maotwana Finyela", Bronze Sculptural Seat For Sale
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Atang Tshikare, "Maotwana Finyela", Bronze Sculptural Seat


This large bronze sculpture by South African designer Atang Tshikare was first exhibited at Design Miami in 2016. A creature of his own creation, this work of functional art is both a seat and a light. Its name – "Maotwana Finyela" (meaning 'small infinite footprints') – and the story behind it are inspired by one of the many clan recitations of the Bafokeng people, who are highly regarded within the Sotho and Tswana tribes in Southern Africa. As with all of Tshikare's works, the sculpture is a three-dimensional expression of an ongoing story, conceptualised by the artist and his wife, Lexi Lekhanya-Tshikare. They write: "This exotic animal with more legs than usual is found roaming around the beautiful mountainous terrain of Lebone. It grows at least two extra legs every year and its body grows simultaneously to accommodate them. It leaves many distinct footprints and produces a melodic sound as its legs come into contact with each other when walking. These sounds are said to be the most soothing, sweetest and mesmerizing. Humans equate them to the healing powers of the stars, oceans and hot springs. This majestic creature only drinks pure spring water. It has a very strict and highly nutritional diet which consists of love-grass and its tiny seeds. "This fine plant self-fertilises and similarly Maotwana Finyela also uses asexual procreation and self-reproduces twice a year. Humans that reside within the larger Lebone expanse use the grass for charms and rituals, and to make assorted objects. They use the love-grass seeds for food, but they are so tiny and difficult to collect. These seeds are regarded as nourishment and a delicacy for the young, pregnant and elderly. When falling ill, one also searches for Maotwana Finyela, and stays in its company until they are healed. "One cannot tell the direction the creature was walking towards or away from by looking at the many footprints as its legs are all identical with a symmetrical shape and size. This makes it difficult for them to be traced because of their infinite and confusing footprints. The only way that one comes in contact with this enigmatic and rare creature is when they are strongly wishing for it and performing continuous rituals that include burning love-grass as incense." Tshikare's narrative-laden works spring from his fertile imagination, deep connection to African mythology and fascination with indigenous natural forms. He was born in Bloemfontein and began a full-time art career in 2010 with his company Zabalazaa Designs, an open platform for co-creation and innovation applying creative design-led thinking. As a self-developed multidisciplinary artist, Tshikare's work is a combination of geometric patterns and multiple mediums of sculptures based on his own narratives. Tshikare has exhibited broadly, both locally and internationally at design fairs such as Design Miami/. He is the recipient of the Southern Guild Design Foundation 2014 Future Found Award and his commissions include the likes of Adidas Originals, Nandos and JWT Marketing.


  • Creator
    Atang Tshikare (Artist)
  • Production Type
    Limited Edition
  • Production Time
    It will take 14-15 weeks to make this piece
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 39.38 in. x W 28.75 in. x D 31.5 in.H 100 cm x W 73 cm x D 80 cm
  • Seller Location
    Capetown, ZA
  • Reference Number
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About The Maker

Southern Guild

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Southern Guild has spearheaded the high-end design category in Africa, propelling its artist-designers to make spirited, challenging and complex work. Its highly curated exhibitions have redefined global perceptions of African design and escalated its value on the international market. Since being founded in 2008 as the sole gallery representing locally made limited-edition design, Southern Guild has birthed a new category for artists and designers in South Africa. In 2011 it became the first African gallery to present at Design Miami, and in 2015 it was the first to be featured at Christie’s London’s annual design auction. The gallery shows regularly at Design Miami in Basel and the US, at Design Days Dubai and the Collective Design Fair in New York, resulting in sales to leading architects, top collectors and respected museums. It has had work from its collections included in Vitra Design Museum’s “Making Africa” exhibition and “Beauty–Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Against the backdrop of a design industry that is still fairly young, Southern Guild gives designers a platform to reimagine what is possible. Founders Trevyn and Julian McGowan are embedded in the South African cultural landscape and play integral roles in guiding, advising and mentoring designers.

About the Seller

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Located in Capetown, ZA
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