Meshack Raphalalani

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Meshack Raphalalani

Meshack Raphalalani was born in 1950 and lives at Tshakuma, Venda. His sculptures depict the work of a man who has had many years’ experience. Meshack is a highly skilled artist.

He focuses on the carving of human figures, which he depicts in various themes, exuding a deep knowledge of his subject matter. Meshack mainly produces large works of one metre or more.

His work has been portrayed on postage stamps (in 1986), and he has been exhibited widely since 1973, both locally and internationally (Holland, Hawaii, Sweden). His work is sought after and housed in many private and corporate collections.


- His lessons at the University of South Africa (UNISA)
- Ria Fouche, Venda Land Training Institution (used his work as an example to the students and teachers)
- His teacher, Lorna Peison at Ndaleni (had a great spiritual influence on him)

In general, he says that his art was further influenced by this exposure to the work of artists such as Michelangelo, Vince van Gogh and by South African sculptors, Michael Zondi and Nelson Mukhuba.

As a sculptor, Raphalalani continues his work in the Venda tradition, working primarily in wood, which is readily available. He records and reflects his environment, both past and present, using human figures as vehicles to express his personal vision. His dream is to see his work cast in bronze.

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