Ndabuko Ntuli – Assemblage
Ndabuko Ntuli is exhibiting in the Estee Lauder Companies 2015 Breast Cancer Awareness Art Exhibition at Hydepark Corner in support of October 2015 Breast Cancer Awareness month. Proceeds from two of his works will be donated to the Estee Lauder Companies 2015 BCA Campaign in aid of the Look Good Feel Better Foundation.
As an artist I find myself at a transitional stage in my work where I had to transform from commercial work that rides on mass production into a more conceptually charged work. Fortunately I got the opportunity to improve myself thorough the peer mentoring workshops hosted by Assemblage and I got deeper into my imagination. The past six weeks have pushed me to go way out of my comfort zone to the extent that I now found a new material in trash and hard surfaces. My work interrogates more of the human narratives told from a perspective of a traditional diviner fusing that with creative assemblage and music as one of my outlets and creative crevices. As an experience I found myself being challenged by trash in the streets, I found myself engaging more with it as an important art material that adds value to my artistic narrative as compared to a collection of junk and used human refuse and I managed to bring that out on its own to stand out and create images that hopefully hurt painfully in the eye of the beholder as much as it brings joy to the soul that consumes it. All of a sudden the little pieces of junk transform my work into a pixelled work that you must zoom in and out of to enjoy, you need to be aware of the distance you keep as an audience to be able to consume my work which is a new dimension altogether.
Ndabuko Ntuli was born on 1 July 1975, deep in Kwa Zulu villages under the Drakensberg Mountains. As a self taught artist who never had any formal art training, instead he got the influence from his grandfather who was also an artist and a prolific sculptor, using stone as a medium of expression. His grandfather (Masobeshe Ntuli) worked in stone carving from the mid 40s until the day he passed away in 1985. Ndabuko has sold most of his work at commercial galleries for the past 15 years with most of his work in private collections across the world. In 2015 He was selected together with Bongi Bhengu as part of only two artists who travelled to participate in Color me Africa Chicago art fair in commemoration of the 20 years of Democratic rule in South Africa. His work is more focused on African themes and fusing those with contemporary subject matter to create great combinations of traditional and contemporary themes.
Ndabuko is a recording traditional maskandi music artist with five albums behind his name; he has worked along the best respected musicians in the country. He also is a practicing traditional healer using bone throwing as his main divination medium. He recently found a way of fusing all three of his talents into his work by using bones, predictions and messages to compose his new works, a new series he is working on titled “listen to the bones” which uses bones to interpret situations and circumstances in our day to day lives and national discourse.