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Born 2nd February 1955, Payneville Township Springs
(Deceased 02 March 2007)

MADI PHALA’S theme of ‘Herdbooyz’ resonates. The herd boy whistles and clicks as he drives the grazing herds. He always hits the right note to communicate with them. Song is an integral part of the lives of those who work with cattle; the beatings hooves have an echo in the rhythm tapped out on the taut skin of drums. The musicians tell of the great natural cycles of life and death enacting these in rituals.
They call for rain so the grass may grow and the cattle may eat, drive away predators. Dry bones are rattled; horns are blown.
In Africa cattle are a life force. Songs are sung when a bride’s Lobola is paid. An ox is slaughtered when a man dies or an initiate reaches manhood. The community is fed and celebrates life.
There is a herd boy in all of us. We need to tend our dreams as the herd boys do cattle and these will nurture our creativity. An artist shares his vision and enlivens the community Death befalls our souls and spirit as soon we cease to dream.

Participated in the Thupelo Workshops (1985-92), Triangle workshop, USA (1992) Residency Greatmore Studios, Cape Town (2004-05)
Print Making – a collaborative workshops – with Truworths – Robert Robson, Hardground Printmakers, BASA, Life drawing was done with Jill Trappler


Siyakubona, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Participated in the group exhibition “Encompass” at the Cape Gallery
Joint exhibition with Nkoali Nawa – exhibition at the Renault Showroom, Claremont, Cape Town.
One man show at AVA, Cape Town
SADC Artists at Thapong, Gaborone, Botswana

10 years of Democracy Renaissance project with Truworths, Hardground, BASA, Sanlam Cape Gallery
One man show at AVA, Cape Town
3 man show at Greatmore Studios, Cape Town following a residency at Greatmore Studios.

Three Man Show at Fuba Gallery

Group Exhibition at Shell House, JHB
Group Exhibition at Goodman Gallery

Group Exhibition Germiston Town Council

Phala also took part in a group show in France (Benefit for Gerard Sekoto this was a joint venture to assist the artist financially by means of contributing work for auctioning)

Full time artist since 1988
Residency at The Bag Factory in Johannesburg
Founded and ran the Arts Enhancement Programme: to teach and exhibit young and promising artists in Ekurhuleni. During this period Phala taught children in his garage.
Founded Bayajula Group of the Arts
S.A.B.C. Model Builder, Scenic Painter and effects maker.
Madi Phala has also taught Art at Polokegong Primary School (Vosloorus), Fred Habedi Primary School (Kwa-Thema) , Muzomsha Primary (Kwa Thema) and the Mbira School of Music and Art.

BOTAKI – Mario Pissaro 2005
Art South Africa 2005
Arts of South African Townships published by Thames & Hudson 1988.
Manaka 1987

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Title: Portraits on Paper II
Size: 53 x 75 cm
Media: Mixed Media
Price: R 6 800 Framed
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