South Africa has always been prolific in its production of the arts and crafts. A great contribution of this output can be traced back to Venda and Shangaan artists of the Limpopo Province, originating from the Venda, Gazankulu and Lebowa homelands. A number of artists create artworks ranging from wood carvings to pottery, and thereby challenge and explore the potential of traditional materials such as basic driftwood and clay.
Inspiration from the mythical
The artworks created by these artists often derive their inspiration from the mythical, which forms an important part of the local culture. Narratives, visions and dreams may also be manifested in carvings, and the abstract becomes embodied within what was once a raw and undefined piece of wood.
Despite these artists all originating and working from the same context and sharing a similar source of inspiration, a novel and signature style is clearly visible in the work of each of these individual artists.
The importance of this group of artists and their works, is not limited to Limpopo Province, but is also acknowledged beyond our national frontiers. Some of the works of the artists have even been exhibited on international platforms, and have thus formed part of the broad spectrum in which South African art is perceived. On the basis of their international recognition, these artists have succeeded in diverging from the common craft method of largely mass produced works, and have attained positions in which they have been commissioned to create specific works for local and international galleries and collections.
At H12 Leshiba the work of the following artists is on display:
Noria Mabasa, Thomas Kubayi, Owen Ndou, Paul Thavanha, David Murathi and others