KZN Midlands, RSA
info@traycitompkins.co.za

About

I have always been a maker and a storyteller “…

LINK TO ‘MY STORY’

BIOGRAPHY

Ceramic artist Trayci Tompkins trained in Theater Crafts and Performing Arts before a well-loved career in print media. But it was clay that was to become her passion when she met acclaimed London based Sudanese potter Mo Abdalla on a stairwell in London. Tompkins knew instantly that clay would become her way of expressing a narrative. After establishing a grounding in the basics of clay making alongside him in his North London pottery, Tompkins returned to South Africa to set up her first full time studio.  A decade of successful sell-out exhibitions and solo showings followed. Becoming well known for her statement hand-coiled Raku and smoke-fired vessels. 

It was during this time that her studio commitments grew into a thriving clay production team. Her designs ranged from hand thrown tableware and decor pots to the quirky collectable figurine, The Dlamini.

Since establishing the South African trademarked brand Zulu Lulu and creating the iconic ‘The Dlamini Collection’ back in 2003, Tompkins has grown her career as an independent ceramic artist, empowered the lives of others through sustainable employment and contributed to the continued success of Art makers by establishing and curating an acclaimed Fine Art Gallery in the KZN Midlands.

Things have now gone full circle for this creative entrepreneur. In 2018 she sold the Zulu Lulu brand and Art Gallery in order to focus back on her own artistic journey.  She has recently been awarded the Premier Prize for ceramics from Ceramics Southern Africa KZN. And is now represented in the prestigious Corobrick Collection housed in the Pretoria Arts Museum, South Africa. It is with this rich tapestry of experience, entrepreneurial spirit and love of storytelling that inspire the artists’ ceramics, regular blog posts and magazine articles. . Tompkins is taking her art making into a whole new chapter incorporating lino cut relief printing and semi abstract painting into her studio mix.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I was born to be a maker, a traveller and a storyteller… I know this, because when I’m not doing any one of these things, I feel lost.   At the tender age of 7, I already knew this.. As did my teacher, who described me as “one who enjoys all forms of creative activity, painting, modelling, drawing,.. is especially interested in nature and very fond of pets” Her report card hangs on my studio wall to remind me that although I’ve experienced fifty years of life’s bruising, it’s highs and its lows, I still remain that same carefree girl with a lust for life’s important riches. 

PUBLIC ART COLLECTIONS

Corobrick Collection, Pretoria Arts Museum, South Africa

GALLERY AFFILITATIONS

Gaze Gallery, Ramsgate, South Africa

Zulu lulu Gallery, Midlands, South Africa

Art of Africa Gallery, High Wycombe, United Kingdom

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

  • 2004               West Gallery Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

  • 1995               Association of Potters Southern Africa
  • 1996               Association of Potters Southern Africa      Merit Award
  • 2000               Association of Potters Southern Africa
  • 2001               Association of Potters Southern Africa      Merit Award
  • 2002               Association of Potters Southern Africa
  • 2003               Association of Potters Southern Africa
  • 2016               Ceramics Southern Africa KZN                    Merit Award
  • 2017               Ceramics Southern Africa Gauteng – Invited artist
  • 2019               Ceramics Southern Africa KZN                    Premier Award         

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

  • 1998               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 1999               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 1999               Bordeaux Street Gallery, Franschhoek
  • 1999               Art Expo, Cottage Framers Gallery, Hilton
  • 2000               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2001               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2002               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2002               Art @ Wedgewood, Hilton
  • 2003               Art Al Fresco, Nottingham Road
  • 2003               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2003               Art @ Wedgewood, Hilton
  • 2004               Art Al Fresco, Nottingham Road
  • 2004               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2004               Art @ Wedgewood, Hilton
  • 2004               Decadence Art Expo, Midlands
  • 2004               Shining Stars Exhibition, NSA Gallery, Durban
  • 2004               ART & FOOD exhibition, MACS Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2005               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2005               Nineteen Degrees Gallery, Hilton
  • 2005               Fired Earth, Indigo Fields Gallery, Midlands
  • 2005               55 Teapots, Johan Smit Gallery, Clarens
  • 2005               Summer Show, Art of Africa Gallery, United Kingdom
  • 2006               Decorex, Durban
  • 2006               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2006               Decorex, Johannesburg
  • 2006               Art @ Wedgewood, Hilton
  • 2007               PMB Personalities @ NSA gallery, Durban
  • 2007               KIZO Art Gallery, Umhlanga
  • 2007               Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg
  • 2008               Decorex, Johannesburg
  • 2009               Decorex, Johannesburg
  • 2010               Showcase Exhibition, ZULU LULU Gallery, Midlands
  • 2011               3 Non Blondes, Hilton Arts Festival, Hilton
  • 2012               3 Non Blondes, Hilton Arts Festival, Hilton
  • 2013               3 Non Blondes, Hilton Arts Festival, Hilton
  • 2014               Meander Showcase, Hilton Arts Festival, Hilton
  • 2015               Meander Showcase, Hilton Arts Festival, Hilton
  • 2017               Heritage Exhibition, ZULU LULU Galley, Midlands
  • 2018               Summer Show, Art of Africa Gallery, United Kingdom               
  • 2018               Hermanus Arts Festival, Hermanus