Fée Berning –
It is when I moved to Ardmore in the Drakenberg, where my love of teaching came to fall. It is here that I met Bonnie Ntshalintshali, and began to work alongside her in a small mountain cottage. We started off simply making decal ducks and candles, hand painted with plaka paint, but it wasn’t long before I recognised Bonnie’s natural ability and encouraged her to pursue her own work.
Bonnie was known for her storytelling sculptures that took inspiration from the Bible. Her fantastical flying figures evolved from her interest in Byzantine illuminations and her bold simple floral motifs, painted in rich primary colours, are reminiscent of Russian stacking dolls.
In 1988 Bonnie received the Conobrik National Ceramic Award, in 1990 we won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award, and in 1991 her sculptures were selected for the Aperto Venice Biennale.
The Bonnie scarf design celebrates Bonnie’s depictions of Jonah and the Whale, with an angel rider, representing the dove as a symbol of peace and harmony. Butterflies and whimsical winged creatures make up a rich and fanciful border.
Sadly, Bonnie lost her life to HIV/AIDS in 1999. Her mother Janet Ntshalintshali raised Bonnie’s son Senzo Mazibuko, who is now one of Ardmore’s leading sculptors.
This scarf design is a celebration of Bonnie’s life and work, and in line with this Ardmore will donate a portion of the scarf proceeds to her family.
click on link to explore scarves: