The School of Nel is an unofficial group of South African artists working under the mentorship of world-renowned ceramicist Hylton Nel. For the past fifteen years, Nel has opened his Carlitzdorp studio to apprentices of all ages and walks of life, instilling in them the confidence to pursue their own artistic vision.
Imeldo ‘Melvin’ Wagenaar, HG Basie, Maxicano de Pointers, Ruben Manuel, Jakob Wagenaar, Francois Julies, Bradley Beginsel, Nico Nieuwenhuis and Nico Masemola combine the whimsy and satire of their mentor with their own fresh take on ceramics. Inspired by Nel’s extensive collection of nineteenth-century Staffordshire figures, tribal art and Chinese antiques, their work channels a similar naivety and charm.
Each artist merges similar visual references and techniques with their unique viewpoint, culminating in a diverse yet unified collection. Whether through deadpan wit, tongue-in-cheek humour, or mythical twists, every piece displays a distinct character that showcases the group’s talent and establishes them as a vital part of South Africa’s artistic landscape.
Thanks to our collaborator, Isaac Benigson, the School of Nel’s work is available for the first time in London at Alveston Fine Arts.