Artists We Love: Claudia Liebenberg

INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES courtesy of Claudia Liebenberg


After spotting Claudia’s work at one of Jackie Burger’s Salon 58 soirees in Stellenbosch, we decided to find out more about this local talent.

1. Describe your aesthetic.

Honesty, heritage, classic, timeless, the simplicity and intricacy of well-made craft, femininity in its strength and fragility, enduring faith and the act of overcoming obstacles (big or small).

2. What did you love about creating your latest series, Blooms on Black?

I am always drawn to darker patterns and colours. Rich in layered story and pigment, yet somehow understated. This range is very dear to me, as it places a delicate flower in front of a bold backdrop, one that can easily overshadow and drown the detail.

We all face times of trial, and what made this so special to me was the perspective and choice that the pieces represent. Amidst trying times, I have been challenged with the fight for the heart, to keep it well. The pieces very simply ask: do you see black, or do you see the blooms in the black?

3. Your work covers a range of genres – from motorcycles to hybrid animals. What inspires your subject matter choices?

First off would definitely be where I come from, my heritage. Each of the giants that walked before me come through in my work, from classy women to the rugged, hard-working men, my family have made a lasting impression on me each in their own right. I’d say a lot of my diversity is expressed in the various genres, and although my main focus is the motorcycle art, it is definitely not my only passion. I am drawn to texture, smell, colour and line combinations. For example, delicate peonies and a classic black 1960s vintage BMW motorcycle. Sigh.

4. You work a lot with watercolours. What is it about this medium you enjoy most?

It’s definitely this medium’s unpredictability. Every piece is so unique and it is such a joy to see a piece take shape before your eyes, almost as if the watercolour has a life of its own and is having as much fun as you are.

5. If you could collaborate with one South African artist, who would it be and why?

Gosh, that’s a tough one! I would say I’d love to collaborate with not only a specific artist, but various makers, where we bring our own approaches to the table and create unique and sustainable pieces from concept to packaging – that have a social relevance.

If I have to pick an artist right now, it would be Alison Parker, who has done amazing work with skateboarding kids from the community. It’s the concept I really love – essentially she merges local designers with talented youngsters by means of a mentorship program where the kids get started on the valuable creative thinking process. The end product is their inspired art on custom decks.

(Read more about the Sk8 For Gr8 programme here)

6. Do you have any exhibitions or exciting projects coming up?

I do! I’ve got a very exciting project coming up with a international company for some designs to be printed on garments.

To view more of Claudia’s work and to buy prints via her online store, visit claude-illustration.com.