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Lucky Sibiya (1942 – 1999) was born in 1942 in Vryheid in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. He was the son of a medicine man and since childhood has been introduced to the mysteries of Africa. This has influenced his art and many of the forms and the symbols used derive from this experience. When he was eleven years old his family moved the Sophiatown and later Soweto. He attended the St. Peter’s Seminary where he studied for seven years.
As a youngster he was introduced to the artist, Cecil Skotnes who took him on as a private pupil. For many years Lucky lived at Hammanskraal outside Pretoria, from where he worked in his modern studio. In 1974 he visited Europe and the USA. He became known as an engraver. Skotnes introduced Lucky to the wood panel and later the coloured woodcut. Ndebele designs and usage of colour is very prominent in his work.
Sibiya has done panels, serigraphs, colour woodcuts and free sculpture in wood, bone and metal. Central to nearly all his compositions is the human figure. Recurring figures included African matron and animals, birds, fish, and cattle. His woodcuts are timeless, reminiscent of the ancient traditional art of Africa, but also at the same time thoroughly modern.
His panels were cut in shallow relief and embellished with paint, and presented as a finished object in themselves. In certain areas of the panels he applied the different colours in layers so that the under-colour shines through, picking up light when correctly displayed.
He held his first one-man exhibitions at Gallery 101 in Johannesburg in 1971. He had various solo-exhibitions in South Africa but also exhibited in Swaziland and the United Kingdom. His artworks is represented in various private and national collections in South Africa, Australia, United Kingdom and United States of America.