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He was born during the Second World War in Harfield Village, a tiny suburb of Cape Town. Coming from a very poor family, his parents struggled to keep three children at school. As a child, he did many drawings and paintings, which were lost during the forced removals of his family from Harfield. After matriculating, he taught at a primary school. He later furthered his studies and qualified with distinction as an art teacher.

Along with other artists: Peter Clarke, Kennith Baker and Mario Sickle, the formed a cultural group known as Vakalisa in 1982. They exhibited in most of the libraries in the so called "coloured" areas of greater Cape Town. During the politically explosive eighties, Vakalisa helped to keep up the spirits of artists, musicians and poets in communities where these libraries were situated.

His works were exhibited at a National Symposium about Sculpture, hosted by the University of Cape Town in Spetember 1991.

"Something inside compels me to sculpt. As I get older, that something becomes more intense. No matter how abstract I go, the human form always seems to show itself. The topsy-turvy political changes has had a profound influence on my life and work. I probably subconsciously try to put back that "stillness and those rhythms that give balance and satisfaction. Some people have said that some of my pieces show pain.

I love the medium - wood, that I work with. To me it is so alive. This fascination with wood - its hardness, knots, cracks, different grains and shaps probably helps to stimulate my creative ability.

Benita Munitz, art critic for The Cape Times, commented on my work in a review that was published on the 9th November 1982, saying 'His figure abstractions are very sophisticated - combining African tribal forms that recall Brancusi and Arp." - Arthur Prodehl


Turn Around Time, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery

arthur prodehl
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Title: Togetherness
Size: 54 x 17 x 10 cm
Media: Wood
Price: R 6 090
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