I was recently away on holiday in Limpopo province, staying in a house that had a number of sculptures by local artist Philip Rikhotso. We weren’t able to find his studio while we were in Limpopo, so I thought I’d see what I could find out about this remarkable artist on the web.

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Despite his recent rise to prominence as joint winner of the 2004 Brett Kebble art award in 2004, there’s not a great deal about Rikhotso to be found online. Still, what there is is worth sharing, as his work is truly exceptional.

Rikhotso, who lives in rural Daniel Village, near Giyani, works in wood, carving animals and people that illustrate traditional Tsonga and Shangaan legends and myths. He says about his work “I would like present and future generations to know how their ancestors lived and what they considered to be of value”.

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Since winning the Kebbles, Rikhotso has exhibited occasionally, including at Gallery Momo and in a large show of SA art in the Netherlands. More of his work can be seen in Tzaneen Museum and in other collections around the country.