This is my portrait of Niki Daly that was selected for the Sanlam Portrait 100 – 2017. It can be seen at the Michaelis Galleries, Michaelis School of Fine Art, 31-37 Orange street, Gardens, Cape Town from Saturday 26 August 2017 and closes on Friday 22 September 2017. Niki is an interesting character and below is a bit of background.
Niki Daly was born in 1946 in Cape Town where he was educated and lived until 1970 when he went to London to follow a music career. Later he resumed art as a career and has been writing and illustrating award-winning picture-books for the past 37 years, both in South Africa and abroad. His respect and caring for children are embedded in his writing and exuberant illustrations that capture the lives of children and the energy of South Africa, his home. His 1986 book, Not So fast Songololo, winner of The Katrine Harries Award and a U.S Parent’s Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children’s books. Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky, winner of the Anne Izard Story Teller’s Choice Award, was chosen by the New York Times Literary Supplement as One of the Year’s Best Illustrated Books in 1996. Among his many books for Frances Lincoln, Once Upon a Time was an Honor Winner in the US Children’s Africana Book Awards of 2004. Jamela’s Dress – first in the Jamela series – was another milestone book, chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children’s Book, by Booklist as one of the Top 10 African American Picture Books of 2000, and going on to win the Children’s Literature Choice Award and the Parent’s Choice Silver Award. In 2009 Niki received a Molteno Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, followed in 2013 by the IBBY/Exclusive Book award for The Herd Boy. He lives with his wife, the illustrator Jude Daly, in a small seaside village of Kleinmond along the Cape Coast where they both continue to produce picture books. Their first collaboration – Seb and Hamish will be published by Frances Lincoln in 2014. A second collaboration produced Thank you Jackson, published by Frances Lincoln (UK) and Jacana (S Africa) in 2015. Also in 2015 his set of board books for Little Hands (Jacana) won the Early Childhood Learning/Unicef prize. His latest book Surprise! Surprise! was published in March in the USA, UK by Janetta Otter-Barry and in South Africa by Tafelberg Publishers (also available in Afrikaans as Verassing! Verassing!)