Tag Archive for: Joseph Ndlovu

Joseph Ndlovu

Ndlovu was born in Johannesburg in 1953. He attended schooling there as well as at Dlangezwa High School, Empangeni, in 1972 and 1973. Between 1974 and 1976 he studied art at the ELC Art and Craft Centre, Rorke’s Drift, and obtained a Fine Arts Diploma.

In 1977 he was appointed by the Durban branch of the S.A. Institute of Race Relations as an officer to organise and develop Youth and Community projects in art, drama, dance, creative writing, craft, photography and informal education. He was responsible for the administration of the recruitment of staff for the Central Education Programme until 1982.

From 1983 to 1985 he worked as a Freelance Artist. Between 1986 and 1991 he was employed by the Open Air School in Durban as Assistant Programmer and art tutor/co-ordinator of art projects, both in the school as well as for outreach programmes. He ran the Programmes together with the artist, Charles Nkosi.

Joseph Ndlovu has appeared in a number of significant exhibitions since 1974 Including  Fort Hare University, Art Centre Sweden, JP Art Gallery SAIRR Culture and resistance group exhibition Botswana 1981 through to the 1995 Johannesburg Bienale. His tapestries are in the following collections:

1996  Khaya Museum (Diepkloof)

1997  Constitutional Court (Gauteng)

1998  Independent Electoral Commision        

1999  Uthingo

2002  NAIL (Head)

2003  Kellogs Foundation (Washington DC)

2004  JOHNIC

2005-7 Johannesburg Art Gallery


L’Ancêtre / The Ancestor Tapestry

L Ancêtre  or The Ancestor is a painting, seemingly abstract but not so on closer scrutiny,  which pays tribute to Mancoba’s great grandmother at the same time as it pays tribute to the land of his birth, South Africa.  The colours of the land and  the stories of its people’s are reflected in this painting, which also has a call for peace and dialogue at its centre. The Constitutional Court will be the recipient of a tapestry of this painting. It is an apt work  to be woven into a tapestry to  hang in the highest seat of justice of our land.


L’ANCETRE (1969 – 71) ERNEST MANCOBA, Oil on canvas, 92.3 x 60.3 cm, Johannesburg Art Gallery

Mancoba’s work is mainly in collections in Europe. There are a few pieces, including L’Ancetre, in South Africa either in private hands or in gallery collections. This project, supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, provides an opportunity for this significant work to be on permanent public display in South Africa and inform the ongoing discourse about lost aspects of our heritage.

Serendipitously, at the same time as the youth of South Africa are questioning the meaning of history and symbolism in public sculpture the trust is able to provide a bust for public display of an ‘unknown’ black man  done in the 1930s which is in fact that of  the  internationally recognised painter and sculptor, Ernest Mancoba as a young man.


Dorothy Randall (1935) Plaster of Paris