Victor Shabalala

Victor Shabalala was born in 1973 on Ardmore Farm in the Champagne Valley of KwaZulu-Natal. After leaving school he headed to Johannesburg, where he found employment with a large supermarket chain.

In 2001 he joined his good friend Vuzi Ntshalintshali, who had made his mark at the Ardmore studio, to find an outlet for his creativity. Over time he developed into one of Ardmore’s leading sculptors.

Victor, a passionate, highly confident artist, enjoyed working with the plasticity of clay. His talent earned him a Merit Award at the annual Absa L’Atelier competition (2009) and a prize at the KZN Regional Show (2011).

His highly inventive and challenging sculptures often represented the darker side of an unknown world. Big-eyed frogs, chameleons, lizards, snakes and crocodiles – creatures which are associated with the underworld in Zulu mythology – all featured in his work.

Victor’s fascination with fish, reptiles and chameleons in particular were recurring themes, but his deep imagination also produced bizarre images such as leopards dressed in eagle feathers and a fish clad in snake skins, swallowing one of its own. His works were often metaphors for his concern about his environment and the world at large.

Victor’s unusual pieces were included in Ardmore exhibitions around the world, and he accompanied Fée Halsted, founder of Ardmore Ceramic Art, to London in 2005.

In 2013 Victor worked as an independent artist at Ardmore and in 2014 he left for Johannesburg. His kudu being attacked by a leopard jug was selected for the Korean Biennale and was exhibited on African Forms in 2014.

While still contributing to Ardmore, Victor is now an independent, freelance artist.

Exhibitions

Awards


Atelier Award

3rd, Rhythms Regional Ceramic Show

Exhibitions

2002


Charles GreigJohannesburg

2003


Christie’s exhibitionLondon

FancourtSouth Africa

2004


Christie’s auctionLondon

City Arts CouncilEdinburgh

'Men of Ardmore’Johannesburg

2005


Private exhibitionLondon

2006


Amaridian GalleryNew York

Private exhibitionLondon

Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg

2007


Christie’s auctionLondon

2008


Ardmore PositivePietermaritzburg

Amaridian Gallery,New York

‘Wonderful World of Ardmore’Cape Town

2009


South Africa HouseLondon

2010


Pascoe & Co.United States

Anagama GalleryFrance

Southern GuildJohannesburg

SOFA (Sculpture Objects & Functional Art)United States

‘Travellers of Africa'Johannesburg

2011


‘Ivory and Ebony’Cape Town

Hallwyl MuseumSweden

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

NegrescoPietermaritzburg

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


‘Monkeys and Magnolias'London

‘Just so Crocodiles and Other Curiosities’Johannesburg

2014


‘Inspired by the Ocean’Hermanus

African FormsKorean Biennale

2015


WMODA, Pascoe and Co.United States

'Animal Botanical'Cape Town

'Animal Botanical'London

'Parrots and Pomegranates'Hyde Park

Isabelle Turquin GalleryFrance

2016


‘Kalahari Cats’Cape Town

‘The Great Zambezi’London