Phenyo Melody Madiba

Phenyo uses pyrography (the art of decorating wood with burn marks) to create art.

Phenyo is a 24-year-old creative who grew up finding pleasure in drawing, especially on the walls of her childhood home.

This recreational activity grew into a passionate hobby that her mother helped steer away from the home walls and onto paper, canvas and art classes. When she finished high school, having taken design as a subject, she went on to study interior design at the Design School of Southern Africa.

She fell in love with wood and it easily became her favourite material, and she soon discovered pyrography and never looked back.

“Pyrography is my medium of choice because I feel it creates synergy between my materials and subject matter. I get to burn, scratch and create textures I wouldn’t be able to make with paint or pencil. Ancient religions and beliefs had one common God, the Sun God. I sometimes use gold in my pieces, to illustrate that belief – that black women are Sun Gods. Making markings by fire also ties in with that belief,”  she says.