Zeblon Msele

Zeblon Msele was born in 1967 in Emadolobheni. He completed Standard 10 at Sizathina High School, and gained a Diploma in Basic Electronics through correspondence college.

Zeblon – who had dreams of becoming a DJ and has a great knowledge on space and the universe – comes from an artistic family who were involved in the arts and crafts.

He came to work for Ardmore in 1994, after a friend saw his clay animals, and introduced him to Fée Halsted.

Zeblon showed his own unique independent style, right from the beginning. He preferred to work with mythical subject matter rather than the wild African animals and plants that most artists prefer at Ardmore. Sometimes he chose sharks, sea creatures and insects as if he identified with a world that could not be easily heard. This passion might have been inspired by his interest in sound engineering.

Zeblon concentrated on surreal, mythical compositions of stacked animals and insects. His candlesticks, vases, large tubular vessels and bowls connected with the alien world of his imagination.

Zeblon also enjoyed painting his own works, which is rare at Ardmore. His colours were quite sombre, and his designs abstract and fully patterned.

His works often included animal-headed figures, reminiscent of Bushmen paintings and the work of German Painter, Heronomus Bosch – which often seem to come from another world of space and science fiction.

His works were filled with energy and rhythms of the world, stars, comets and black holes and he sometimes wrote messages about saving energy, showing his awareness of the value of insects and marine life to our planet.

At the closure of the Drakensberg studio in 2006, Zeblon decided to remain in his ancestral valley and pursue his many artistic interests there.

Exhibitions

2000


ABSA BankJohannesburg

2001


International Ceramic Arts FestivalWales

Hospice ExhibitionJohannesburg

SA Embassy ExhibitionMalaysia

2002


Charles Greig JewellersJohannesburg

2003


Christie’s exhibitionLondon

2004


Christie’s auctionEdinburgh

‘Men of Ardmore’Johannesburg

2005


Private exhibitionLondon

Christopher GreigJohannesburg

2006


Amaridian GalleryUnited States

Private exhibitionLondon

Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg

2007


Christie’s auctionLondon

‘Cats of the World’Johannesburg

2008


Amaridian GalleryUnited States

‘Wonderful World of Ardmore’Cape Town

2009


South Africa HouseLondon