South African sculptor Shepard Mtyshelwa took up residency at the Thami Mnyele Studio in December 1997. Mtyshelwa was born in Queenstown in 1965. Part of his artistic skill he acquired during his studies at Sivuyele College in Guguletu (1994-1995), and earlier with the Visual Arts Group in Nyanga (1987), but his diligent practice and undoubted talent can be said to be the main force behind his imaginative art work.
Shephard works in two dimensions as well as three, but is mostly known for his magnificent wood sculptures. It seems that in the round, and with the simple, natural shape of a wood trunk in front of him, his imagination takes an unexpected flight. An elephant can become a dog, whose tail ends up being a bird, for example. It is hard to see where one animal ends and the next one’s limb starts, so that the effect of the overall work of art is quite mesmerizing.