Somandla Ntshalintshali

Somandla Ntshalintshali was born on 13 September 1980 at Ardmore Farm in the Champagne Valley, KwaZulu-Natal, where he attended Mountain View Primary School.

Somandla was working as a gardener at Ardmore when Moses Nqubuka offered him the opportunity to sculpt in the studio. He leaped at the chance and started at Ardmore in 2003.

He comes from a creative family and is related to Bonnie Ntshalintshali, the first Ardmore artist.

He says: “When I was cutting the grass and working in the garden, I used to go into the studio during lunch time and play with the clay. When I was playing with the clay, Fée Halsted, founder of Ardmore, came and she commended my pieces. Then I knew that I could do it. I felt the power to carry on and I felt happy.”

Somandla is a brilliant sculptor and very concerned with form. He chooses to sculpt animals with a natural lyrical grace: elephants with their long trunks, giraffes and cranes with their long necks. Even crocodiles, lizards, chameleons and porcupines are curled into bowls and vessels with a swirl of movement and grace.

In 2011 a baboon platter modelled by Somandla was presented to the Empress of Japan by Max Sisulu, Speaker of the South African National Assembly, and the same year his Leopard and Lion Hunt Urn was selected to represent South Africa at the Korean Biennale, where he won a merit award with painter Jabu Nene.

In 2014 one of Somandla’s large elephant vases was chosen for a photographic shoot for a decorating magazine in London and the year after a similar elephant vessel was selected by Southern Guild to represent South Africa at Art Basel, Miami. It was sold at the opening night.

In 2015 Somandla created pieces for Ardmore’s 30th anniversary Masterworks collection.

Exhibitions

Awards


Korean Biennale (Merit award)

2003


Christie’s exhibitionLondon

2004


Christie’s auctionLondon

City Arts CouncilScotland

‘Men of Ardmore’Johannesburg

2005


Private exhibitionLondon

Christipher GreigJohannesburg

2006


Amaridian GalleryJohannesburg

Private exhibitionLondon

Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg

2007


Christie’s auctionLondon

2008


Amaridian GalleryUnited States

Wonderful World of Ardmore’Cape Town

2009


South Africa HouseLondon

2010


Pascoe & Co.United States

Anagama GalleryFrance

Travellers of Africa’Johannesburg

2011


‘Ivory and Ebony’Cape Town

‘Clay: The Art of Earth & Fire’United States

Hallwyl MuseumSweden

NAADA (National Antiques & Decorative Arts) FaireJohannesburg

Eboka Spring CollectionPretoria

Korean Biennale

AnagamaFrance

2012


International Ceramic ShowUnited States

‘Ardmore Aviary’Cape Town

Les Ceramiques Zouloues ArdmoreFrance

‘Endangered Animals’ exhibitionLondon

An African CollectionAustralia

Naada Faire Antiques and CollectablesJohannesburg

Fabric and book launch: Ardmore, We Are Because of OthersHermanus

Fabric and book launch: Ardmore, We Are Because of OthersCape Town

‘Grand Carnival’, fabric and book launch: Ardmore, We Are Because of OthersJohannesburg

ArdmoreLuxembourg

ArdmoreMauritius

ArdmoreBeaune

ArdmoreGeneva

Patrick Mavros Christmas Safari WeekLondon

A Celebration of Zulu Life and ArtistryUnited States

ArdmoreAustralia

2013


Pascoe & CoUnited States

'Monkeys and Magnolias'London

Isabelle Turquin GalleryFrance

Journee des CeramiquesFrance

Design DaysCanada

‘Just So Crocodiles and Other Curiosities’Johannesburg

Creel and GowUnited States

Safari WeekLondon

Patrick MavrosZimbabwe

2014


Pascoe & Co.United States

‘Great Herds of Africa’,Cape Town

‘Great Herds of Africa’,London

‘Inspired by the Ocean’Western Cape

‘Birds of Africa’Johannesburg

‘Great Herds of Africa’,Kenya

Art Basel Deign FairUnited States

‘Birds of Africa’Zimbabwe

Celebrating Ardmore ArtistsUnited States

2015


WMODA, Pascoe & Co.United States

‘Animal Botanical’Cape Town

2016


‘Kalahari Cats’Cellars-Hohenot, Cape Town

'The Great Zambezi’Patrick Mavros, London

'Celebrating the Year of the Monkey'Charles Greig, Hyde Park, Johannesburg

2017


'The Great Zambezi'Cellars-Hohenot, Cape Town