Lion wood sculpture. Elitana Sibanda is an African artist that carves his artwork pieces out of one piece of wood. He uses the notoriously difficult wood called ‘Leadwood’, or Combretum imberbe. The wood is very hard, difficult to work, and termite resistant. It was once used for railway sleepers and is now prized as wood for ornamental work and furniture. The Hereros and the Ovambos of Namibia regard the Leadwood tree as the great ancestor of all animals and people and they never pass it without paying it the necessary respect.
In spite of the challenges of working with Leadwood, Elitana crafts very fine and delicate detail in all his works. The form, texture and folds the skins of his animals are nothing short of phenomenal. If you look at some of the detail you will find that the ears and base has been carved out of the same piece and not stuck on afterwards.
Elitana lives with his family in Cape Town South Africa. He has a studio workshop just outside the city centre where he spends the most part of the day working. He is a true artist, passionate about his craft that is ever evolving. Please view this short video about Elitana Sibanda.