The charms and persuasions of Hylton Nel’s art

The charms and persuasions of Hylton Nel’s art


After 34 years of mostly under-the-radar exhibiting in London, the potter is having a bigly moment, says Sean O’Toole

10 September 2023 – 00:01 By Sean O’Toole

Hylton Nel famously likes to be called a “potter”, or if you must, “artist-potter”, but not a “ceramicist”. The original meaning of ceramicist, Nel told the art dealer Michael Stevenson in 2003, referred to factory boffins versed in the technology of clay, “but it was when potters, people working with clay, wanted to be taken more seriously that they coined these other words”. Nel, 82, shuns affectation. He lives simply in an old farmhouse with a problematic ceiling, stinky toilet and burgeoning garden at the edge of Calitzdorp in the Little Karoo. He settled in this fruit-growing region in 2002 and moved to his new address from a larger home across the winding Gamka River a year ago…

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