Siyabonga Mabaso was born in 1985 in the KZN Midlands town of Mooi River and completed his education in 2006.
Having studied art while at school, he had an impressive portfolio of drawings and paintings when he met Fée Halsted, founder of Ardmore Ceramic Art. Fée was impressed by his talent and describes Siyabonga as “a true artist and super talented”.
He joined Ardmore as a painter in 2007 and within weeks his work was included in the ‘Cats of the World’ exhibition at Charles Greig Jewellers in Johannesburg and at the Groote Schuur exhibition in Cape Town in 2008.
His fabulous Leopard Urn was purchased by then first-lady, Zanele Mbeki, who is a great fan of his work.
Siya is enthusiastic, energetic and a fast artist who closely observes nature and paints realistically, expertly capturing nuances of light and tone and the subtleties of feathers and fur.
He brings exotic elegance, sophisticated natural realism and fine detail to his pieces, often incorporating a black background, reminiscent of French painter Henri Rousseau.
He is versatile enough to excel both as a painter and sculptor and enjoys working alongside painter, Wiseman Ndlovu.
He also loves helping and teaching others and is a true entrepreneur, selling and exhibiting paintings on canvas that he paints in his spare time.
In 2015 Siya excelled with several brilliant pieces for the Ardmore masterworks collection and in 2016 created a number of exquisite works for the ‘Great Zambezi’ exhibition, which celebrated Ardmore’s collaboration with Hermès.