Nhlanhla Nsudwane

Nhlanhla was born in Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal in July 1962 to a Swazi father and Zulu mother.

He contracted polio as a child and was left physically handicapped, but showed the inner strength of a giant when he discovered a love for sculpting, which he started doing at the age of five.

Despite a superstitious mother who destroyed all his work, he continued creating figures in secret.

Nhlanhla was only able to spend one year at school due to lack of family support. After a difficult early life, he and his wife, Matrina, found their true home at Ardmore in 1992 with Fèe Halsted.

For several years he and his wife worked together, he sculpting and she painting his pieces. This special relationship tragically came to an end in 1994 when Matrina was fatally struck by lightning.

Nhlanhla – a prophet and philosopher – continued to develop as an artist and showed his kindness to others in his teaching of the many recruits he introduced to Ardmore.

Although widely known for his sculpted figures such as his Prince Imperial and Zulu War collections, his rabbit teapot and other decorative pieces, with their naïve charm and humour, raised huge interest at Christie’s auction in London, leaving no doubt of his exceptional talent.

Sadly Nhlanhla died in 2015.

Exhibitions

1992


Volkskas ExhibitionDurban

The Natal RouteJohannesburg

1995


The Spirit of our StoriesGrahamstown

1992-1996


Gallery on Tyrone,Johannesburg

1994


Natal Society of Arts exhibitionDurban

1996


Meklenberg Groote SchuurCape Town

1997


State President's Guest HousePretoria

Catalyst GalleryJohannesburg

1998


Exhibition SA Embassy ResidenceGermany

Marl Concert HallGermany

Germany Exhibition SiegenGermany

Thyssen Forum DusseldorfGermany

Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg

1999


Bordeaux St GalleryFranschhoek

Gallery on TyroneJohannesburg

2000


ABSA BankJohannesburg

2001


International Ceramic Arts FestivalWales

Hospice ExhibitionJohannesburg

SA Embassy ExhibitionMalaysia

2002


Charles Greig JewellersJohannesburg

2003


Christie’s exhibitionLondon

2004


Christie’s auctionLondon

City Arts CouncilEdinburgh

‘Men of Ardmore’Johannesburg

2005


Private exhibitionLondon

Christopher GreigJohannesburg


Amaridian GalleryUnited States

Private exhibitionLondon

Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg

2007


Christie’s auctionLondon

‘Cats of the World’Johannesburg

2008


Amaridian GalleryNew York

‘Wonderful World of Ardmore’Cape Town

2011


ARS 11Finland

Istanbul Biennale