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Bambo Sibiya  (1986) Biography and Exhibitions

BAMBOLWAMI JOSE SIBIYA, South African, born in 1986 in Springs, Gauteng, South Africa


Art Education

Certificate in Fine Arts from Mbira School of Music and Art in 2000

Certificate in Art and Design from Benoni Technical College in 2005

Professional Print Maker at Artist Proof Studio, Newtown, Johannesburg



Graphic Design Internship at Artist Proof Studio from January to December 2010

Gallery Assistant at Artist Proof Studio from January 2011 to August 2013

2013 – working as full time artist



Ekurhuleni Art Award Finalist in 2008

“Top Student of the Year” Award at Artist Proof Studio in 2009

Semi-finalist Thami Mnyele Award, 2009

Merit Award Thami Mnyele, Ekurhuleni Art on Paper in 2010

Semi-finalist in the ABSA L’Atelier top 100 in 2010

Thami Mnyele top 10 in 2011

Finalist in the ABSA L’Atelier top 10 Awards in 2011

ABSA L’Atelier Merit Award in 2012

Winner of Gerard Sekoto Award, ABSA L’Atelier, 2012

Arts and Culture Trust Award 2012


Commissions and Public Art

Johannesburg Development Agency 2010

BRT Public Art Consortium in 2011

Anglo American Gold Ashanti 2012

BASA (Business and Art South Africa) in 2013

Springs Art Gallery in 2013

Ogilvy & Mather in 2013


Solo Exhibition

Khumbula Ekhaya (Homesick) Gallery2 2013

Human Spirit Art Exhibition ABSA Gallery 2013

Tales of Migration, RED ROOM Gallery, Cape Town, 2017

Gaborone Gallery, Botswana, 2016

Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg, 2018


Selected group exhibitions

“Ekasi” exhibition, Spring Art Gallery in 2008

“30/30” exhibition at Springs Art Gallery in 2009

“Unfolding” exhibition at Artist Proof Studio in 2009

“Seeking” exhibition at Artist Proof Studio in 2010

“People and Spaces” exhibition at Gallery 2, Johannesburg in 2010

“Thami Mnyele” Award exhibition at the Art Centre, Ekurhuleni in 2010

“Art Fair” at Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton in 2011

“David Brown” exhibition at Sandton Art Gallery in 2011

“Arts on Main Canteen exhibition” at Arts on Main Gallery, Johannesburg in 2011

“Belledewar Advertising” exhibition, Belle Dewar National offices, Sandton in 2011

“Gray Advertising” exhibition in Sandton in 2011

“Sharon Sampson Studio” exhibition at Illovo in 2011

"Coming of Age" exhibition at Johannesburg Art Gallery with Artist Proof Studio in 2012

"Coming of Age II" exhibition at Gallery 2, 2012

“Art Fair” at Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton in 2012

"Art child" exhibition at Design Indaba with Absa Gallery 2012

“David Brown” exhibition at Sandton Art Gallery in 2012

Art Fair” at Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton in 2014

Cape Town Art Fair, RED ROOM Gallery, 2014

Rethinking Kakotopia Art exhibition, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria

Performing Woman Exhibition, UJ Art Gallery 2015

SAADA Fair, RED ROOM Gallery, Cape Town, 2015

ThatArtFair, RED ROOM Gallery, Cape Town 2015

FNB Art Fair at Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton in 2015

ThatArtFair, RED ROOM Gallery, 2016

World Art Dubai, RED ROOM Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2016

SAADA Fair, RED ROOM Gallery, Cape Town, 2017


International Exhibitions

International Group Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, Middle East in 2011

Khumbula Ekhaya ( Homesick II), in Seychelles Kenyan House Gallery

Benetton Foundation Project in France

New York City Affordable Art Fair 2013

The 7:th International Lithographic Symposium, in Sweden 2015

World Art Dubai, RED ROOM Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2016

Art The Hague, Netherlands, Red Room Gallery, 2017 + 2018

AKAA Paris, France, Red Room Gallery 2018


Art Residencies

Cite International des Art in Paris, 2013

Atelier Le Grand Village in France, 2016



Bidvest Group


Rand Merchant Bank

Spier South Africa

Pinpoint One Human resources


Benetton Foundation Collection in France

Sasol Limited

Artist Proof Studio

Business and Art South Africa

Sasol Corporate Collection in Mozambique

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Millennium Hotel in Abu Dhabi

Johannesburg Development Agency

Ukhozi FM



Bambo Sibiya completed a Design certificate at Benoni Technical College in 2005 and with a friend opened a small graphic design business where they were able to purchase a computer to enable them to design logos and pamphlets for local entrepreneurs. His teacher, Paul Madi Phala, recommended that he should apply to Artist Proof Studio (APS) to attend printmaking classes in the Saturday programme while continuing to support himself. His determination to succeed and his natural talent convinced Lucas Ngweng, a teacher at APS, to recommend him as a full-time student. Sibiya, at this time explains that he caught “the printmaking bug”. In 2008 he was offered a full bursary to enter second year as a full-time student.

His serious attitude, maturity and sense of himself, positioned him as a candidate for support by Clive H. Viveiros, Executive Director and founder of pinpoint one human resources. Pinpoint one is a long-time partner of APS, who over several years has been a patron to several artists, who had the capabilities necessary to become successful artists.

Sibiya is articulate in describing his own journey of discovery and fulfilment. While he was always a strong draftsman, in his second year at APS his work started showing social content and engagement with his community. As a student, he was encouraged to develop his personal content through cultural and art-historical research as well as by participating in social advocacy programmes. Sibiya found himself drawn to the social realists and became interested in Hogarth’s social allegories, Goya’s Disasters of War as well as Diane Victors Disasters of Peace.

Thereafter he began to etch poignant compositions of his own versions of poverty in his local community. He began drawing his figures from photographs he had taken showing how families survive in poverty. Encouraged both by his patron Clive H. Viveiros, and his teachers, he was urged to find subjects that were more familiar and hopeful in their outlook.

His subsequent themes, based loosely on the experience of his mother, led to a very accomplished series concerning single mothers as heads of their households. Bambo discovered that he too, was in fact the head of a household of women when his father left the family. He lived with a culture of alcoholism, growing up amidst the breakdown of his own family structure. Many of the men in his community spent their family time and income drinking in shebeens which became their social environment. Sibiya in describing this experience, expressed his determination not to become like his father who had abandoned his family.

Many of Sibiya’s prints depict mothers as the central and most elevated figure in his compositions conveying the message that despite hardship and unemployment, women still manage to find ways to feed their families, nurture and protect their children and keep their families in relative security.

In his current work Sibiya has shifted his focus to the lifestyle that developed around migrant communities. His style and technique gained a steady level of sophistication. His work-place internship during his third and fourth year as the assistant gallery curator for the APS Gallery exposed him to the handling of professional artists’ work. He was fortunate to work on the large-scale linocuts of several leading artists such as William Kentridge, Diane Victor, Norman Catherine and Colbert Mashile. The scale and power of those monumental prints profoundly moved Sibiya and he extended his own work on a larger scale as he tackled more ambitious images with added confidence.

In the last four years, Sibiya has submitted his strongest student work for local art competitions. He has fared exceptionally well, particularly when in 2008 he was a finalist in the Ekurhuleni Art Award. Again in 2009 and 2010 he was a semi-finalist in the Thami Mnyele Award, receiving a Merit Award and in 2011 he was in the top ten of this competition. In 2012 he was a finalist in the Absa L’Atelier top ten awards and the winner of the prestigious Gerard Sekoto Award which will provide a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2013. His recognition in November at the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) awards for the most promising visual artist for 2012 has given him the recognition by the Johannesburg art community as one of the most promising emerging artists.

Bambo Sibiya’s work has rapidly found an active market. His work is being bought by private collectors and public curators. His skill and virtuosity and deeply felt empathy and engagement with community challenges, places this young artist on the threshold of a bright future. His supporters feel that an investment in this young artist’s career is an investment in the talent of the best and brightest that South Africa has to offer.

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