Punch Shabalala

Painter

Punch was born in 1969 in the Champagne Valley of the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg.

She had the good fortune, when she was still a child, to be befriended by her cousin, Bonnie Ntshalintshali, the legendary first artist at Ardmore.

Punch’s intense love of drawing and painting found expression during her school years, and as she lived with her parents on the Ardmore farm, she was exposed to the creative work of many of her friends and family.

Artwork produced by Punch

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Punch's story

Punch was born in 1969 in the Champagne Valley of the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg.

She had the good fortune, when she was still a child, to be befriended by her cousin, Bonnie Ntshalintshali, the legendary first artist at Ardmore.

Punch’s intense love of drawing and painting found expression during her school years, and as she lived with her parents on the Ardmore farm, she was exposed to the creative work of many of her friends and family.

She joined Fée Halsted and Ardmore Ceramic Art at the age of 20. Inspired by her colleagues, Punch soon developed her own special style, expertly blending flowers, insects, birds and animals into an exotic tapestry of colour and intricate patterning, influenced by Zulu beadwork and KwaZulu-Natal’s Eastern heritage.

Punch’s imaginative skill and attention to detail have brought joy to collectors worldwide. Her diligence and talent ensure that her ceramics are always included in overseas exhibitions and she has become the most prolific winner of Ardmore’s Triple A award for excellence.

Her strength of character and determination have enabled her to overcome daunting challenges in her life and she shares this strength and energy with others, leading by example. She is Ardmore’s most respected and beloved artist.

In 1998 Punch accompanied Fée and Bonnie Ntshalintshali to three German cities where exhibitions of Ardmore were organised by the South African High Commissioner.

In 2011 she travelled to the United States as guest artist at an exhibition of Ardmore work at a symposium held at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut.