John Newdigate (1968- )

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John Newdigate is one of South Africa’s most celebrated ceramicists and artists. Living in the mountainous Overberg region of the Western Cape Newdigate strives to work in the present, recording contemporary issues in conjunction with the physical landscapes, plants and animals that he encounters in his everyday surroundings. He is an exuberant colourist and specializes in painting hand-built, porcelain vessels using an original technique inspired by precise and spontaneous mark-making. Newdigate’s signature process utilises colour to its full advantage; involving hand-painting multiple layers of underglaze pigment, reserving certain areas with a wax resist and then removing surrounding pigments. This process is repeated multiple times and complex, translucent and radiant imagery emerges from a mix of sharp and blurred lines which gives depth and perspective.

A variety of themes recur in his work, most notably plants and animals that are used to make wry commentary on human emotions and interactions. In recent works, Newdigate has ventured into crafting three-dimensional renditions of his painted imagery, employing a blend of fiber-reinforced polymer cement layered over a wooden and PU framework, then adorned with oil paints. Liberated from the confines of ceramic restrictions, this exploration has sparked a wave of fresh creativity and concepts.

“I am an artist who chooses to paint on ceramics. My large painted porcelain vessels embrace a love of colour and depict my immediate surroundings. Recent works are a collaboration with master hand-builder Ian Garrett, who creates forms with subtle and taut curves that are an ideal surface on which to express my ideas. Working on a three-dimensional surface, of which half is obscured at any one time, allows for the narrative to be revealed as the viewer circles the work. This introduces time as a fourth dimension, in which imagery unfolds as static animation”. - John Newdigate



‘Colourground’ (in collaboration with Ian Garrett), EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa

‘Flying Into The Wind’, Nuweland Gallery, Netherlands

‘Square Clouds in a High Sky’, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa


RMB Latitudes Art Fair, EBONY/CURATED, Johannesburg, South Africa
'Compressing Materiality', EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa
Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Ceramics and Main sections, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

' A Very Loop Street Summer II', EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
‘Ceramics Invitational; Shaping the future of Contemporary Ceramics in South Africa’, FADA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Expo Chicago, EBONY/CURATED, United States of America

Also Known As Africa (AKAA), EBONY/CURATED, Paris, France

'8X8’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa
Investec Cape Town Art Fair Digital Event, EBONY/CURATED, South Africa
‘In [the] Loop, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

‘Re-Imagining Clay in South Africa in the 21st Century’, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa
EXPO Chicago, Chicago, United States of America
‘Nature Morte – The Still From Life, Rupert Museum, Cape Town, South Africa

‘AKAA (Also Known As Africa)’ 2019, Paris, France
‘Investec Cape Town Art Fair’, EBONY/CURATED, South Africa

‘8th Talent Award of the Nassauische Sparkasse’ Keramikmuseum Westerwald, Germany

‘Potters 4 Function’, Irma Stern Musuem, Cape Town

Group Exhibition, Grande Provence Gallery, Franschhoek
‘Mike Donkin’s Choice’, Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch

‘Greenhouse Effects’, A.R.T. Gallery, Cape Town
‘North South East West’, curated by Barbara Lindop, Johannesburg

‘David Walters and Friends’, William Humphries Gallery, Kimberley
Renault Group Exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

Barbar Lindop, Invited Renault Artist Exhibition, Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal

Group Exhibition, Bayside Gallery, Durban

Rose Korber Art Salon, Camps Bay, Cape Town

1999 – 2001
Annual Studio Exhibition, Kalk Bay, Cape Town

Clay Formes, CONTEMPORARY CLAY FROM SOUTH AFRICA, 2023. ISBN 978 063 977 9744


Kilbourn Collection, Cape Town, South Africa
Iziko Museums of South Africa, Cape Town
South African Cultural History Museum, Cape Town
William Humphries Public Art Gallery, Kimberley
Renault South Africa Corporate Collection, Johannesburg
Anglovaal Industries Corporate Collection, Johannesburg

Works by John Newdigate (1968- )

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