Chelsea Gordon Interview


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the southern part of Cape Town. I was born in Lotus River and moved to my family home in Ottery 4 years later. 

While growing up, what did you want to be? 

While growing up, I always wanted to be a Chartered Accountant because I loved math and I wanted to be a rich and successful businesswoman. 

You chose to pitch on our Utensil theme. What was your inspiration?

I chose to pitch the utensil theme because while studying, we did multiple projects with flowers and a few with shells and even though, choosing those two themes would've been easier, I wanted to challenge myself by doing something new. 

My inspiration came of the utensils I usually use when baking, cooking and dining, and I decided to play with line work in my designs to give it a more simple and modern style. 

When did you start your art practice?

My love for art started when I had the opportunity to attend Frank Joubert Art Centre (now known as Peter Clarke Art Centre) in primary school for Arts and Culture, which then lead me to enrol in high school and pursue it as a subject. I loved being able to work with hands, the challenges it brought working with different mediums and just learning something new each time I explored it. But in Grade 10, I decided to drop out of art school because at the time my primary focus was a career in Accounting, and not Art and Design. But by matric, I realized that I was miserable and the only time I was ever passionate and happy about something was when I was creating, so chose to pursue a career in Design by applying for Surface Design in university.

Where are you in your career as a South African artist and surface designer?

I graduated with my BTech in Surface Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology last year (2019), so I'm currently freelancing and looking for an internship or job in textile and prints. 

Do you have an online profile or instagram?


How do you think art can be used to address current social issues in South Africa? 

Art is something that is meant to move or inspire people, even if it's a banana peel duct taped to a wall. Every piece of art/design in whatever form has a story to tell. It starts a conversation, stirs up a feeling, gets you thinking and questioning your perceptions on matters compared to others. So art can be used to create awareness about current social issues in South Africa, especially against women. It cannot show you what to do, but it can provoke something within to push people to take action about issues or make a change. This could be the first step to planting that seed of change.  

What is the best thing about living in South Africa?

I'd say the best thing about South Africa are the coastal drives in Cape Town, especially Chapman's Peak route along the mountain, where one can admire the beautiful scenery of the city and experience breathtaking sunsets. 

Back to the top