Lucky Sibiya “The Umabatha Series”

Handprinted woodcuts by South African artist Lucky Sibiya based on the theatrical play Umabatha by Welcome Msomi. (South African Playwright)
The play portrays historical Zulu events woven around Shakespeare’s plot in Macbeth, the time period is early 19th century during the reign of the Zulu Kings Shaka and Dingane.
Inspired by Msomi adaptation of this classic drama, Sibiya combined abstract and folk art to produce a portfolio of 15 woodcuts that featured in the South African Exhibition in Canberra where it was well received.

The Umabatha series was part of the Pelmama PermanentArt Collection and was donated to Oliewenhuis Art Museum by the Haenggi Foundation in 2006.

Sibiya participated in numerous group exhibitions held throughout SA and in Swaziland, the UK, Australia, Botswana, France, West Germany and the USA. He was invited to participate in “Historical Perspective of Black Art in South Africa 1930-1986”, Alliance Francaise, Pretoria and “The Neglected Tradition” an exhibition held at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1988-89. The Everard Read Gallery – “South Africa’s finest painters” April 1996.
His work can be found in the collections of:
University of Fort Hare, Berliner Missionwerk Library Berlin, University of Witwatersrand, SA Broadcasting Corporation Johannesburg to name a few. He is also represented in numerous Corporate Collections in South Africa, the UK and the USA.
Lucky Sibiya died in a road traffic accident on the 24th of January 1999.

Anon (n.d.). Artists | Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg
Anon (n.d.). Lucky Sibiya | South African History Online. Available from:

© Lucky Madlo Sibiya. All Rights Reserved 2022


Handprinted Coloured Woodcuts Edition of 225, Framed Size 83 x 62 cm, Paper size 72 x 51 cm, Image Size 57 x 40 cm. £350 each

Published by Gallery 21 London and Johannesburg in a limited edition of 1 to 225 plus 10 artist’s proofs.

Printed on handpress on Schoellerhammer Antik Paper and handbound by J.P. Scott Johannesburg 1975

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