Josephine Ghesa

Josephine Ghesa was born in 1958 in Lesotho. An orphan, she was raised by her grandmother, a traditional potter in the village of Thaba Tseka.

She had no formal education when she arrived at Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio in 1990, but under the tutelage of Fée Halsted was taught the basic techniques of coiling and constructing forms from clay.

Josephine showed a pronounced aptitude for sculpture and was encouraged to pursue her own particular vision. Within six months, her clay figures were purchased by two major South African galleries.

Unique, and at times haunting, Josephine’s work was described by Chicago University Dean, Carol Bekker, as “some of the strongest work I’ve seen”.

Combining animal and human forms into sculptures she blended the legends of her S’otho childhood with her own highly personalised mythology.

Josephine coiled her forms using a terracotta clay body fired to 1200 degrees and then finished them with a variety of media from oil paint to boot polish.

Her work is represented in major South African collections as well as private collections throughout Europe, Africa, and the United States.

Joesphine Ghesa has retired from Ardmore and returned to the mountains.



Natal Arts Trust Special Award

Corona del Mar Young Artist's Award

Corobrik/Tatham award

Standard Bank Young Artists Award

Sculpture Prize, Regional Ceramics Exhibition, Natal

Merit Award, Natal Biennial

Claybodies, Pretoria, Brett Kebbel Award C.Tarn



Dominicus GalleryJohannesburg

NSA (Natal Society of Arts) GalleryDurban


Volkskas ExhibitionDurban

'The Natal Route'Ferguson Fine Art, Johannesburg


'The Spirit of our Stories' (print exhibition)Grahamstown


Gallery on TyroneJohannesburg


Natal Society of ArtsDurban


MeklenbergGroote Schuur, Cape Town


State President's Guest HouseBryntirion Estate, Pretoria

Catalyst GalleryJohannesburg


Ardmore ExhibitionSA Embassy Residence, Germany

Ardmore ExhibitionMarl Concert Hall, Marl, Germany

Ardmore ExhibitionSiegen, Germany

Ardmore ExhibitionThyssen Forum, Dusseldorf, Germany

Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg


Bordeaux St GalleryFranschhoek, Western Cape

Gallery on TyroneJohannesburg


ABSA BankJohannesburg


International Ceramic Arts FestivalWales

Hospice ExhibitionJohannesburg