Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa on Friday hailed the contribution of renowned artists Susan Sellschop, who died in a Johannesburg hospital this week.
Mthethwa said: “She was a great master of the arts and crafts and has contributed so much to the sector throughout her life. Not content only to focus on her own artistic output which was considerable, she worked with traditional crafters for many years and devoted many years to bringing artists to the market and taking the market to artists with the view that artists should be able to sustain themselves through their art.”
In the 1990s, together with others, Sellschop set up the Craft Council of South Africa (CCSA), which had as its objective the assisting of fellow crafters to exhibit and market their work so that they could earn a living from their work and also pass their skills to others in their community. She was appointed chief executive officer of the CCSA, a position she held for five years.
In September 2016, as part of the Living Legends Legacy Programme, an initiative of the department of arts and culture, she passed on information and skills to ceramic students and interested crafters when she conducted a craft master class at the Tshwane University of Technology.
“We salute her for her lifetime contribution. Her life’s work stands as a great example of how an artist can pursue her own interests, but at the same time in order to fully explore her chosen art form, she reaches out to other artists and to a rich body of history, imparting her knowledge and skills, and in the process helping to lead and develop an entire creative industry, which has flourished as a result of early interventions.
“Her name is written in the history of arts in this country and she will continue to inspire us for generations to come. Her artworks remain as a living legacy and testimony to her greatness,” said Mthethwa.
– African News Agency (ANA)