RESIZED LM Portrait 2023

(b. 1979 Knysna, South Africa)

Lucinda Mudge is a contemporary South African artist working primarily in the medium of ceramics. After graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town (2000), she spent the following years between Cape Town and the UK before moving to Keurboomstrand, Plettenberg Bay, where she now lives. 

Mudge has an intimate relationship with failure, comments arts writer Fay Janet Jackson. As a ceramicist, her chosen medium is fragile by nature, and prone to fracture. Sudden changes in temperature in her kiln can cause her large-scale vases to crack, crumble, or collapse, rendering months of hard work futile.

In Mudge’s love affair with ceramics, this crazing of clay is akin to heartbreak. It can start slowly – small cracks appearing and spreading, familiar patterns disintegrating, once bright hues fading into oblivion – or it can all fall apart without warning. “It’s a brutal choice of material,” says the artist, and, like love, it can bring both great joy and great misery. Mudge’s extraordinary vases captivate the eye with their rich colours and intricate detail. Yet beneath their glimmering surfaces is a familiar world simmering with paranoia and tension. Both a visual and a socio political record, her collection of vases draws inspiration from a wide variety of references, including cartoons, pop songs, fabric designs and Art Deco vase patterns, resulting in whimsical collisions of the popular and refined, the mundane and elevated, the violent and the beautiful.

This range of contemporary and historical sources merges to present a complex narrative familiar to many South Africans. With hand-mixed glazes and stains, and produced painstakingly slowly over the period of a full year, each piece is as unique as the narrative it tells. Themes, images and text are constantly repeated and reshuffled, embodying in their very fabric humanity’s ability to carry contradictory impulses simultaneously. The choice of the vase as a canvas is not without significance. Commonly a functional household object, the vase has a presence which is genuinely welcoming and affirming; a familiar object that is usually intended for the home.

Lucinda Mudge has worked in major corporate and private collections nationally and internationally, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Guernsey, the Netherlands, Italy and Russia. Lucinda’s work was recently exhibited at the Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, as part of the exhibition Making Africa (2015). Her work is included in the following publications: African Generation, the power of design published by Langages du Sud (2019);  Making Africa - A Continent of Contemporary Design (2015); The Bauhaus: #itsalldesign, published by Vitra Design Museum, edited by Mateo Kries & Jolanthe Kugler (2015) and VASE: Function Reviewed, curated by Brian Kennedy, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland (2016). 



Nothing’s Ever Enough, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa

Everything All The Time, Everard Read, London, UK


Love Story, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

Hello Pretty Girl, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa 

Space is the Place, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa


Investec Cape Town Art Fair solo booth,with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa 

Space is the Place, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa


Pixel Vases, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

The Wolf Is Always Near, Everard Read, London, UK


Kill You Eat You, Circa on Jellicoe, Johannesburg, South Africa


Take What You Want, Knysna Fine Art, Knysna, South Africa


Lasers in the Jungle, Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschhoek, South Africa


The White Tiger and Other Stories, Knysna Fine Art, Knysna, South Africa





Bitches Brew, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa 


Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa

Things I’d like to remember, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Spring Show, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

OFFERING, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa 


Two-person exhibition with Frances Goodman, SMAC, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Against Interpretation, Everard Read, London, UK

IMAGO, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa

Staring Straight to the Future, online group exhibition, Everard Read, South Africa & UK
On Being, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa

TINY2020, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa


MAKING AFRICA, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, USA


MAKING AFRICA, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

MAKING AFRICA, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, USA


FNB Johannesburg Art Fair, represented by Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

Investec Cape Town Art Fair, represented by Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

MAKING AFRICA, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands


1:54 Art Fair London, represented by Everard Read, London, UK

VASE – Function Reviewed, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland

FNB Johannesburg Art Fair, represented by Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

MAKING AFRICA, CCCB Barcelona, Spain


MAKING AFRICA, Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain

MAKING AFRICA, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Switzerland