South African Fine Art Prints

VISI Blog - Artists we love - Claudette Schreuders

Annebelle Schreuders

Posted on November 07 2015


Claudette Schreuders

Renowned South African artist Claudette Schreuders talks us through her process and the inspiration behind her famous wooden sculptures and lithographs.

What inspires your carved sculptures?

I made my first wooden sculptures in 1994 as an undergraduate at the University of Stellenbosch. My influences for those sculptures was painted medieval religious sculptures and painted colon figures from West Africa. I was also inspired by my lecturer at the time, Brett Murray.

What processes do you undergo before you start a new work?

I spend a long time thinking of the group as a whole, sometimes an idea for one work lies dormant in my sketchbooks for years and then I find a group for it to belong to and start it at last.

I do loose pencil sketches and more detailed preparatory drawings, and I also use photographs as reference. Once I know what size the work will be I prepare my wood, either by laminating a block of wood or cutting a log to the correct size.

You describe yourself as a perfectionist. How does this influence the work you create?

Perfect for me just means working on something until it’s right. It does not mean flawless, just finished. It’s quite a personal thing. I’m definitely not a perfectionist as a person – in terms of being neat or organised.

Are your new series of lithographs – Great Expectations – inspired by your sculptures, or do you view these creations as separate?

My lithographs come after my sculptures and function as a record. I work from photographs of the work that I take or have taken for this purpose. Sometimes I like a lithograph of a work more than I like the original sculpture. I tend to like art that functions as a kind of record.

Do you have any future projects or exhibitions you’d like our readers to know about?

I have a solo show titled Note to Self coming up in February 2016 at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.

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