Nathaniel Sheppard III was born in Washington D.C. to an American father and South African mother. It was at the Southern California Institute of Architecture where he began to enter into the conversation and ideologies surrounding the architect or artist in relation to spaces around them and the people within those spaces.
Sheppard lived and studied in the United States until 2010, when he chose to move to Johannesburg, South Africa, to continue his studies. Pivoting away from architecture, he studied Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Through his studies he came to realize the important socio-political position the practice of art had - particularly within discourse about South Africa's access to spaces and opportunities within a post-Apartheid society.
LABOUR - a term that is heavily loaded and historically turbulent in the context of South Africa’s formation – is a theme central to Sheppard’s art practice. Beyond the direct reference to the labour involved in the artist’s creation process, it is the presence of a labour of love and a love for labour.
Having previously been locked into the medium of painting, Sheppard turned to printmaking. Along with a growing group of printmakers and artists, Sheppard endeavours to challenge exclusionary traditions that are deeply rooted within the South African apartheid movement.
Together with, Sbongiseni Khulu, Anaz Mia and Chad Cordeiro, he is co-founder and co-owner of Danger Gevaar Ingozi (DGI).