Maverick Life

EXHIBITION

Ardmore ceramics and textiles on show at Cape Town’s Mount Nelson

Ardmore ceramics and textiles on show at Cape Town’s Mount Nelson
Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the 'Ardmore Journey' exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore, one of South Africa’s most prominent luxury brands, is bringing its signature fauna and flora-inspired ceramics and textiles to the Mount Nelson for a week-long exhibition.

Come 14 March 2023, the celebrated ceramic art and textile design brand, Ardmore, will host an exhibition of work by some of its artists at the Mount Nelson hotel in Cape Town. 

The exhibition will be staged in association with jewellery brand Christoff, which was founded by designer, artist, luxury jeweller and long-time Ardmore collaborator, Christopher Grieg, who also heads up the Charles Greig jewellery brand and its namesake gallery

Fans of Ardmore’s highly collectible ceramic pieces would be familiar with the way the artists incorporate fauna and flora into their work. The exhibition, titled Ardmore Journey, continues the brand’s celebration of African plant life, as well as various emblematic animals, which are sculpted into the ceramic pieces and incorporated into the prints on show. 


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The world’s most trafficked mammal, the endangered pangolin, is collaboratively reimagined by sculptor Thabiso Makhele and painter Mickey Chonco, as “a powerful symbol for lockdown where we went into our own shells in our homes.” In another piece, Makhele depicts the pangolin’s inward curl with a womb at its centre, as a commentary on the endangered animal’s ability to sufficiently reproduce while faced with excessive poaching. 

The mating dance of the African Crowned Crane is immortalised in a ceramic vessel by sculptor Victor Mtshali and artfully embellished in golds, creams and light greens by painter Mthulisi Ncube. Elephants, hippos, tortoises and other African fauna are depicted in various pieces throughout the exhibition, expanding on the particular aesthetic style that has become synonymous with Ardmore’s output over the past nearly four decades.

Since its founding back in 1985, Ardmore has mentored and worked with an extensive roster of artists, mainly based in rural KwaZulu-Natal. One of Ardmore’s first artists, mentored by founder Fée Halsted, was Bonnie Ntshalintshali, who, together with Halsted, jointly won the Standard Bank Young Artists Award in 1990. Ntshalintshali died in 1999. The Ardmore Journey exhibition will feature the Bonnie Collection of prints which, as per Ardmore, is the brand’s “way of honouring her luminous memory, and a symbolic reference to past artists and the narrative threads they wove through the tapestry of the first 38 years of Ardmore’s journey”.

'Geometric vs Organic Pangolins' by Slu Mlambo, painted by Sthabiso Hadebe. Image: Ardmore

‘Geometric vs Organic Pangolins’ by Slu Mlambo, painted by Sthabiso Hadebe. Image: Ardmore

'Sable and Roan Urnt', made by Qiniso Mungwe and painted by Siyabonga Mabaso. Image: Ardmore

‘Sable and Roan Urn’, made by Qiniso Mungwe and painted by Siyabonga Mabaso. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

'Pangolin Womb' by Thabiso Makhele, painted by Relebohile Tjakata. Image: Ardmore

‘Pangolin Womb’ by Thabiso Makhele, painted by Relebohile Tjakata. Image: Ardmore

‘Pangolin Womb’ by Thabiso Makhele, painted by Relebohile Tjakata. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the 'Ardmore Journey' exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Decor pieces on display as part of the 'Ardmore Journey' exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Decor pieces on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Decor pieces on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Decor pieces on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the 'Ardmore Journey' exhibition. Image: Ardmore

Ardmore ceramics on display as part of the ‘Ardmore Journey’ exhibition. Image: Ardmore

The exhibition will be on from 14 to 19 March 2023, first in the Mount Nelson’s Planet Room on the 14th and 15th, before moving to the Orchid Room from the 16th to the 19th. DM/ML

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