2016 is the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac. Apparently the influence of the monkey puts everything in flux this year although the cheeky creature increases communications, humor and wit, which helps us through stressful times. Daring to be different this year can lead to success. People born in the Year of the Monkey are intelligent, witty and inventive. They are problem solvers with irrepressible curiosity and creative energy. Famous monkey personalities include Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Taylor and Mick Jagger.
Monkeys are a very familiar site today at Ardmore Ceramic Art in the Midlands of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. They come down out of the hills looking for food and play in the grounds of the studio. The Ardmore artists have lots of opportunities to observe their antics and are particularly fascinated by the relationship between the mothers and infants. Each brilliantly observed monkey sculpture is unique and individually hand-painted. One of their most impressive pieces depicts a Mandrill monkey being ridden by a Zulu Warrior. Mandrills are the world’s largest monkeys and are known for their brightly colored faces. Monkeys cavort also on vases, tureens and jardinières created by the Ardmore team. One of their signature fabrics features a stylized monkey which has been used recently in their new line of ladies’ handbags.