Anushka Davids Interview

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Melkbosstrand, and I have lived here for the past twenty two years. Melkbosstrand is a small and friendly town close to the beach and has been my main inspiration in most of my artwork and concepts when designing. Despite Melkbosstrand being quite isolated, my hometown is very close to my heart and has helped shaped my creativity because there is always inspiration at every corner. I spend most of my time at the beach here in Melkbosstrand since it is very therapeutic to me after a busy day and it is always interesting to explore and collect new objects.

 While growing up, what did you want to be?

While I was growing up I wanted to be a veterinarian because I had an immense interest in animals and the biological aspect of it. It was a career path that I wanted to pursue. But as I grew older I drifted away from that dream because another passion ignited inside of me, which is art and the creativity of it, and I felt that it was something that I had to explore. My passion for art started when I was 13 years old and I experimented with a lot of mediums at that time and since then my love for art and design has grown even more. Therefore, I decided that I wanted to follow a career in art or design.

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

I chose the theme of edible flowers because the natural environment has always been a big influence on my artwork. I always used nature as my reference because it has so much to offer in terms of its organic feel and when deriving its elements to create artwork. I chose three edible flowers as my inspiration which was a sunflower, a nasturtium flower and an artichoke. I’ve had several memories and experiences with all three flowers- my grandmother used to always bring us sunflower seeds when I was young, or she would send us chocolate-coated sunflower seeds in the post, it was one of my favourite memories and the sunflower in my designs symbolised the joy that it brought me.  We also have a few nasturtium flowers growing in our garden and my father often used it in salads for the flower’s distinct peppery taste, and artichoke is one of my favourite edible flowers and I wanted to use its beautiful elements as my inspiration. All three edible flowers are completely different in exterior but they have one thing in common: they represent hope, passion, peace and prosperity in terms of their symbolic meaning, and I wanted to integrate those characteristics in my designs to create a universal feel of how nature can bring us together. 

Do you have an Instagram or online profile? 


When did you start your art practice?

I started practising art since I was young and it evolved into more than just a hobby to me. I wanted to make it a life journey, where I could learn and experiment every day. I studied surface design in 2016 until 2019 because my love for art and design made me interested in the textile aspect of it. I wanted to learn how you could transform a design into something tangible and to create versatile products that could possibly make a difference in society. One of my concepts during my studies was exploring tactile interaction/stimulation to reconnect humans to the natural world. The aim of this research was to investigate tactile interaction/stimulation as a tool to connect humans to the natural world; by therefore focusing on the link between tactile material properties, and how individuals respond emotionally through the tactile experience. And from that concept, I created textured bioplastic that contained elements from nature, such as rooibos extract, and I created a range of bioplastic products.

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

I recently completed my Btech in surface design and I am currently interning at Skinny laMinx to gain some experience in the textile industry. I am working towards potential freelancing where I could create designs/artwork/prints for specific clients. Although I am a recent graduate, I am eager to see where this journey takes me in the design field. 

Who is your favourite South African musician?

I have quite a few favourite South African musicians such as Rowlene, Johnny Clegg, The Parlotones, Black Coffee, Danny K and Shekhinah. 

What is your favourite South African meal?

My favourite South African meal is the traditional ‘braai’ (A South African/Afrikaans term for “barbecue” or “roast”) because it truly brings families and people together. Another local favourite is ‘Bobotie’ which is a South African dish that consists of spiced minced meat, baked with an egg-based topping.

If you could go on holiday anywhere in South Africa this week, where would you go?

I would still choose Cape Town because it has such beautiful scenery and landscape, especially when viewing from Table Mountain. There is just something about Cape Town that gives off a harmonious feel when exploring its rich diversity.

What is the best thing about living in South Africa?

The best thing about living in South Africa is its rich diversity, the beautiful landscape and its indigenous flora and fauna; as well as its local art.  Due to South Africa’s cultural diversity, there are various delicious foods that make South Africa unique. Another quality of South Africa is its weather; there are beautiful sunny days that will make you want to soak up the sun on its local beach. South Africa offers great sight-seeing, and it is truly one of the best things about living here.

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