The best way to describe my work is an appreciation of the power and subtlety of nature and its perfection of creating awe-inspiring forms when places under the right conditions.

My background is in 3D product and architectural visualisation.

I made the move into sculpture and design in 2014 after I attended the Guild international design fair in Cape Town and had a moment of clarity.

Foliation vessels, bronze 9.5x65cm, one-off
Image: Southern Guild Foliation vessels, bronze 9.5x65cm, one-off

My greatest inspiration is silence. There’s something incredibly humbling when surrounded by silence. It’s a sort of catalyst that bonds ideas and inspiration.

The biggest single influence on my way of thinking and creating is the simple beauty and simplicity of patterns in nature that can be read like a language and understood if observed and studied for long enough.

My greatest accomplishment is to have met and to be surrounded by people who have really helped me and inspired me to create.

I’d best describe myself as curious and critical.

My favorite icon is Leonardo Da Vinci. When you read about his life and his absolute determination and curiosity, it completely changes your perspective of things.

Driaan Claassen
Image: Southern Guild Driaan Claassen

An important life lesson is to find an idea that’s capable of constant growth and interpretation and to refine it into a jewel. When an idea is at the core of a process, the speed and consistency of the idea will grow rapidly if it is correct and slowly when incorrect.

I have been rewarded by my inquisitive desire to understand how the world works in a parametric fashion. Each parameter in nature acts as a variable and has an influence on the final result. Together these parameters create complex, seemingly chaotic forms. By isolating and understanding each parameter you can extract patterns that start making complex fractals seem quite basic. A good example of this is the fractal branching of a tree. By studying the branches, you can ultimately see the entire tree.

Reticence, bronze 230x41.5x42.5cm, edition of 12
Image: Southern Guild Reticence, bronze 230x41.5x42.5cm, edition of 12

My most current work is a large, sculptured bench titled 'Reticence' for Southern Guild, which was exhibited on their stand at Design Miami last year.

What I’d like to do next is focus on the idea of scale. I want to play with larger proportions and to see how this influences the patterns, reflections and how my work interacts with the viewer.

I gauge my personal success by my ability to create what I imagine and my inability to do so determines how I feel about where I am and where I want to be.

Tasseomancy, bronze 20x20x18cm, one-off
Image: Southern Guild Tasseomancy, bronze 20x20x18cm, one-off

I’m currently fascinated by patterns. I think it’s always been patterns. My fascination with patterns constantly spurs up new ideas and inspirations for forms, textures and shapes. It allows my work to grow as my understanding of these principles grows.

I’m embracing new technology by applying my knowledge of 3D and the use of 7 Axis Milling machines, which means that I can create precise intricate forms that would be very time consuming to create by hand. This use of technology allows me to have complete control over proportions, details and forms. It’s a bridging gap between technology and imagination. I’m studying patterns and forces by simulating fluid dynamics, and modeling and rendering complex shapes and textures. Once you understand the possibilities of using modern technology it opens up a whole new way to interact with reality.

The underlying threads in all my work is nature. It creates effortlessly. It creates fractal patterns that are endless in its structure and proportions. My work is about taking this very organic movement and structures and displaying it in its most simplistic forms like a cube or a sphere - a symbolic gesture of taming and organising nature by emphasising the patterns as simple as possible.

The book at my bedside is In Praise of Shadows, an essay on Japanese aesthetics by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

At the moment I’m listening to The Chopin Project by Olafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott. Listen to Verses here

The best gift I’ve received is the gift of an opportunity to create something that required extensive insight and knowledge. And being taught by people I respect and admire who didn’t care that I had no previous knowledge or that I was still young. It’s a wonderful gift for someone great to sit by you rather than blocking out the sun.


Erik Satie: 3 Gymnopédies — Lent Et Douloureux by Pascal Rogé 
Song by Max Richter 
Loftiа Verаur Skyndilega Kalt by Olafur Arnalds 

You can find Driaan's work at Southern Guild in Woodstock, Equus Gallery in Stellenbosch, Ebony in Franschoek, and Intoto Gallery in Johannesburg.

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