Artist Profile

Noria Mabasa

Noria Mabasa

BORN IN 1938 Xigalu , near Venda - (her father is Shangaan)

In the early 1950s the family went to live in Soweto. After her marriage to Samuel Luvhimbe, in 1955 they went to live in Vendaland.

Mabaso has a natural artistic ability. She had no formal art training, but displayed extreme sensitivity when making clay sculptures of Domba figures which she learnt from her family.

In the early 70’s she made traditional figures such as the Domba initiation ceremonies.She observed the women with their babies and captured the daily life around her.

After meeting the Venda sculptor Nelson Makhuba in 1983 she was inspired to begin wood carving, creating works on more contemporary themes.

In 1985 she was introduced to Ditike – The Craft House of Venda.

This was a project of the Venda Development corporation which recognized her ability and began promoting her work.

Her sculptures include portraits, political figures and large sculptures with intertwined figures which were inspired by dreams. She has become a major figure on the S.African art scene and her works have been acquired by several National Galleries.


1984 Venda Sun Hotel

1985 African Museum in Progress, Johannesurg (Tributaries)

1986 Goodman Gallery (Parade):

WITS (Std Bank Foundation collection of African Art

1987 Johannesburg Art Gallery- JAG (VITA ART NOW0

S.A. NATIONAL GALLERY- SANG ( Figurative ceramics and Decorated Textiles)

Std Bank National Arts Festival , Grahamstown (Vha-Venda Sculpture Exhibition)

1988 SA Assoc. of Arts, Pretoria (VhaVenda/Shangaan Wood sculptures

Unisa (Clay)

Her work is in major National art Museums including JAG, SANG, Standard Bank, and Wits.