Lucky's style to use copper and metal on wood
Lucky’s huge angels and angel benches are well known and well loved amongst art collectors. His style is easy to recognize, because he decorates his wooden sculptures with copper and metal ornaments. Lucky Makamu lives and works with his wife and children in Mbokota village, near Elim, Northern Limpopo . He creates small and large pieces, depicting religious and mythical themes such as crucifixes, benches with snakes, fish and his well-known angels.
From 1979 to 1982, he decided to earn a living in Johannesburg and left his place despite the difficult time of apartheid. He was lucky to join a training course with the South African Police and was thus able to find employment with the SAP – Traffic Police. After four years of city life, he was longing to go back home though. As an income generating project, he got himself involved in metal work and started to produce different jewelry designs. Following tradition, he also carved small sculptures. It was during that time, he was asked by Jackson Hlungwani to work as his driver and bring his sculptures to a newly opened gallery in Newtown, Johannesburg. He soon realized how well his own small wooden sculptures caught the interest of customers.
The road sign at Mbokhota on the way from Elim to Giyani, easy to recognise
Lucky Makhamu’s sculpture in the corner on the veranda of Limpopo suite at Madi a Thavha mountain lodge
Lucky Makhamu’s characteristic use of metal in his sculptures
Lucky Makhamu’s angels are popular gifts
The welcome sign at Lucky Makhamu’s home gallery
Lucky Makhamu’s 2m highcrucifix now in Madi a Thavha’s collection
Lucky’s studio always has beautifully decorated wail paintings
He was very much influenced by Jackson Hlungwani. He realized that through his sculptures he could get the message across about Shangaan (also a group of the Tsonga people) culture and expose their art throughout the country. Nowadays, his pieces are found in different museums and galleries in South Africa. He has recently also finished his training as traditional healer. His workshop is open to visitors.
Text source: Erika Hauff-Cramer
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