Blossom interviewed Vheke Kruger.....
Who is Vheke Van Der Merwe?
I am a Cape Town based textile printer, artist, and art teacher. I also works as a wardrobe person/stylist in the film industry..as well as trained as an astrologer....yes a many armed being with a love of pattern....
What was the first thing you ever made?
The first thing I ever made or at least remember making were linocut printed curtains for my bedroom window. They were zion green fasco with red lino prints on them...my mom was an artist and designer herself so she got us involved in this really young... I was probably about 5 at the time
What is it about print on textiles that you love?
... well i just love patterns, designs, motifs,shapes, forms and somehow it is just a basic urge with me to create designs and patterns,,, I love cutting up paper and the thrill of lifting the screen/block and seeing the print for the first time.
Are there any other arty things you are interested in, or other materials that you work with?
Other than printing textiles, I also work a lot on paper... paper cutouts and collage as well as printing onto paper. I love monoprints which are very immediate as well as block printing. I would like to experiment more with silkscreening on paper as well. I also like taking photographs and am now playing around with very basic ceramic too.
What inspires you to create?
My inspiration to create is often more of an urge ... I need it cause it keeps me going and is the way of providing variety and freshness to my life.. pretty simple really..It also keeps me focussed.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by so many differerent things in different ways, by people who have just come up with their own thing and have been able to express themselves in fresh ways. I do love the bold designs of the 50s, 60s and 70s as well as the bold colours and motifs in african wax prints and many traditional textiles around the world... I guess one is inspired by everything one is exposed to ..signage, packaging, plants, people...its very diverse and I can appreciate anything from a Basuto blanket to a chappie wrapper
Where can you see your work in 5 years time?
In 5years time hopefully my work will be more consolidated and have a more streamlined system in place whereby it would be sustainable. I would also hope that my work can stay fresh and that I will still love doing it.
If you had to choose any other profession what would it be?
Well right now it would be Art therapy I guess, because of the work I do at Valkenberg I have got more interested in that area and seen how huge the need for it is.
Do you see yourself as an artist, desisgner or craftsperson?
At this point it is not that important what terminology is used to define what one is or does... artist, crafter,,,designer...they are all much the same to me.
When did you know you wanted to become an artist?
Well there was never really a point, I just sort of evolved into what I do now, this hybrid.