The Ceremonial Sculptor: Daniella Mooney

Elle Deco SA
Photograph by Kristina Stojilkovic

We were honoured to feature numerous talented artists in last year’s #WinterIssue, but what made sculptor Daniella Mooney stand out, is the element of spirituality that she brings to her artwork. Forming sculptures has gifted her with the opportunity to investigate nature in a trim and tidy studio. She described how she personalises it, and shared a few tips on how we could follow suit.

From her light, spacious studio in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town, Daniella creates sculptures that in her own words “explore religious beliefs and the natural world, light and natural phenomena” – a place where “the ritual act of sculpture-making becomes a ceremony in itself.”

Elle Deco SA
Photographs by Kristina Stojilkovic

Her space is orderly, productive and fun – busy with her own pieces from old shows, half-finished ideas, abandoned projects or pieces in the making. “They all create a kind of dynamic picture of where I’m at now,” she explains. Daniella shares her space with other artists: Sebastian Borckenhagen, Matty Roodt and Rowan Smith. “We’ve all shaped the space together.”

Elle Deco SA
Photographs by Kristina Stojilkovic

Citing “coffee, music, my apron, watering the plants, sharping my tools and cleaning up afterwards” amongst the things that make the studio her own, Daniella advises DECO to embrace a sense of self in creating any space. “If you like a specific colour, use that to paint your walls. If you see something you like in a shop or at a market, put it on a table in your house. If you’re really into plants like me, then go out and get some good soil and water them when it suits them best – that’s important.”

Compiled by Lucie Bartlett


Love Daniella’s work? 

To admire her sculptures, take a trip to Whatiftheworld Gallery at 1 Argyle Street (Corner of Argyle & Albert Road), Woodstock, Cape Town, 7925

Viewing hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 2pm

Visit Daniella’s website at daniellamooney.tumblr.com


Captivated by the unusual beauty of sculptures?

Discover how designer Joanna Orr uses sculptures to preserve South Africa’s wildlife, by taking a look at Turning Heads With Head On Design.


Elle Deco SA

Zeenat, a digital intern at ELLE Decoration, is a creative at heart with a passion for weddings, fashion and makeup. She adores blissful moments of solitude spent indulging in a warm cup of Rooibos tea, and red velvet cupcakes.


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