Esther Mahlangu – Keeping Heritage Alive in a Contemporary World

The world-renowned artist has brought the South African Ndebele art form to the forefront of the industry with her stunning murals and paintings that are deeply embedded in culture & tradition.

The Melrose Gallery

The existence of art as expression and celebration of culture & tradition has long existed in African societies. Whether it’s the rock art paintings of the Khoi San, golden rhinoceros sculpture of Mapungubwe, or the Benin bronzes of the Benin Kingdom; We know that various art forms have, and continue to exist, forming part of age-old cultural practices that still informs the art of today.


Born in the Limpopo province of South Africa, Dr Mahlangu has not only carried on the artistic tradition & practice of the Ndebele people, but she has popularised an authentic cultural offering that we can identify with in a modern world.

The vibrant geometric shapes and symbols found on the houses and walls not only speaks to the longevity of Ndebele art.

It furthermore demonstrates the tenacity of art as a cultural product that can be passed down, even when the world around it is being changed at an incredible pace.

Her latest exhibition titled ‘Esther 85’ is a celebration of the award-winning winning visual artists 85th birthday which was on the 11th of November 2020.

The Melrose Gallery has made the exhibition available online as this unique collection features various works from Mahlangu’s career spanning over 7 decades.

"I was born with this gift. It's within me. It's ancestral. That's what made me hang to it. So I told myself I could never lose what I was blessed with. "


Fans, collectors and admirers of Dr Mahlangu will likewise soon be able to experience her works through her upcoming global exhibition tour due to take place in 2023.

Learn more about Dr.Esther Mahlangu’s prolific work and inspirational journey here.

Images: The Melrose Gallery - 'ESTHER MAHLANGU 85 '

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