Multidisciplinary artist, producer, sangoma, musician and spiritualist Ndabuko Ntuli is an artistic and spiritual polymath. His proud Zulu heritage informs his art, each piece never quite being the same as the last whether it is painted, sculpted, made from discarded materials or drawn. However, despite his media being different from one project to the next, the theme of Zulu storytelling can be absorbed throughout his works. Born and raised in the Zulu heartland of Kwa-Zulu Natal and moving to Johannesburg at a young age, Ndabuko Ntuli has already enjoyed a storied and diverse career. Not only a professional painter and sculptor, Ntuli was also a professional musician, a sangoma to his community and a spiritualist. One of his main influences was his grandfather, a famed sculptor in his own right, who Ntuli has lovingly created a tribute for in his most recent solo exhibition called ‘Umlayezo Kamkuhulu Wami/My Grandfather’s Message’. In his diverse portfolio of works, one can see a certain theme of traditionalism mixed with the everyday. Haunting, eyeless portraits of elders are created from discarded cans, plastic bottles and adorned with bold, Zulu colouring and geometric patterns. His work is a mosaic of modern South African life: beauty in the darkness, utility in the rejected, simplicity in the convoluted.
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