“The eldest of the Tandi brothers, Nicholas is a workhorse, driven to carve. His work is intriguing in its immediacy, honesty and sometimes whimsical subject matter.”

Nicholas was born on the 6th of January 1948 in the Musana reserve, Bindura district of Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia). At that time educational opportunities for Africans were limited and Nicholas was only able to complete his primary schooling. When he left school in 1964 he enrolled as a student at the Nyarutsetso Art Centre, when he was accepted as a student on the basis of his woodcarvings. The Nyarutseto Art Centre was run by the late Canon Patterson, an Anglican priest who did much to encourage artistic talent amongst young African students. Nicholas remained there for 3 years before embarking on his full time career as a sculptor. He carves both heads and animals, but his preference is for the human form. Nick has two younger brothers, James Lazarus, who have certainly made names for themselves. Nicholas works in the hard verdite, Butter Jade and Kwekwe Fruit Serpentine; stones that challenge and frustrate the sculptor.

Recently Nick has created numerous Nine Stone Ladies. Because his workshop is in the grounds of Black Granite, he has access to the diamond saws that allow him to finely slice many various hard stones and bond them together to form doll-like bodies of a myriad of colors and textures. With exquisitely carved heads and a variety of ethnic hats, these charming originals are something new and different to the Shona Art movement.