Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht

Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht

Artist Statement

Still Life in Motion

The title refers to 17th century Dutch Still Life genre, called Vanitas painting, and metaphorically to the idea that “there is still life in this old body - as long as it keeps moving.” In Vanitas painting the motif of a skull or clock, in a composition of fruit and flowers that represent the good life, reminds the viewer of the transitory nature of life. My images of people, moving with youthful vigour (equivalent to the Vanitas painting’s lush fruit and flowers) provides a sobering reminder of the ever present shadow of doubt, death and fragility through the shadows, blurred movement and dissolving form, I have achieved through through slow shutter speed and other camera tricks, enhanced in digital post production.

The photo-essay, Still Life in Motion, is an exploration of the contradictions inherent in the aging human body, as enhanced during movement. My line of thought recalls a period, almost forgotten, of the grace of youth. Through the dance, peaks of joy and passion are brought forward, interlaced with a deep sadness underlying my sense of loss. The project is an acknowledgment of this period of midlife and beyond. It has become a meditation focusing upon the increasing fragility and vulnerability of life and relationships as I grow older.

Reality seems to splinter in my viewfinder, revealing, more and more, an illusion.


Masters Degree in Art History; B.A. Languages.
Photography Diploma Course through the New York Institute of Photography

Winner of several Show Case Competitions on New York based online Art Gallery, Artlsant; Merit awards at New York Institute of Photography


Lecturer and Researcher in Art History at Rand Afrikaans University - 1970’s 1980’s.
Professional Assistant Johannesburg Art Gallery, Joubert Park - 1970’s.
Journalism: feature writer for local magazines and international online publications.
Specialized Journalism: Freelance Art Critic for Media 24 newspapers since 1978, writing on the visual arts and crafts.
Studied photography to complement journalistic writing in 2002. From that beginning my interest grew in photography as a form of personal expression.
Photography has become my main objective since 2009 when my interest shifted from Photo-Journalism to Fine Art Photography.

Capturing movement in all its varied forms - from reflections in pavement splashes, to feelings in people’s facial and bodily expressions.


Slow shutterspeed, flash, in an attempt to test the expressive qualities of error in a search for meaning.


Reality and Beyond, Museum Africa, Johannesburg.
2010 - 2013
Cape Town School of Photography.
Affordable Art Exhibition, Manhattan, New York.

The Flow of Stone, Waterkant Gallery, Cape Town.

To Life - Dance It; A Story in Image Words and Movement, in collaboration with Dawn Garisch, printed by Orms, ISBN-978-0-620-55950-8.