• Adele van Heerden

    Adele van Heerden
    • Artist Statement
      • Adele van Heerden pays close attention to complexity. As an artist and curator living in a world where the binary has been replaced by the spectrum, Van Heerden revels in the beauties of the multifarious, creating intricate pieces in ink on paper which juxtapose the natural world with human history. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, she produces finely detailed, often layered work as a personal response to the particular social, historical and political conditions she finds herself in.
        Her subject matter is an exploration of the present and a confrontation with the weight of the past, combining the botanical, historical and natural in a way which engages with scale to question relevance. Monuments disappear among a profusion of petals drawn on translucent paper. Soldiers and their horses become tiny toys. Leaves become architectural. Memorials disintegrate and the ephemeral becomes significant. Her use of drafting papers and acetate or polyester films, with a single artwork containing images on different sheets layered over each other, adds depth to her works, both playing with perspective and adding a sense of ghostly presence.
        Living in post-colonial, post-apartheid South Africa, there are many spectres of the past to confront. Van Heerden’s work is contemplative of colonial hangovers, using juxtaposition to inspire subtle humour. There are polarising and extreme views in South Africa but, as an antidote, Van Heerden invites nuance and ambiguity. She explains: “South Africans have an ability to deal with it in a way that inspires hope.”
        Having studied curatorship at a graduate level allows Van Heerden to bring ideas from both of her undergraduate fields of study – fine arts and history/politics – together in her fine arts practice. “It made me realise,” she comments, “that all my interests are interlinked, overlap, and feed/bleed into each other.”
    • Biography
      • N Dip. Fine Art (Ruth Prowse School Of Art)
        BA Degree in History and Politics (University of South Africa)
        Honours Degree in Curatorship (UCT, Cape Town)



        After graduating with a degree in Fine Arts from the Ruth Prowse School of Art in 2010, Van Heerden continued her studies at the University of South Africa, obtaining a BA in History and Politics. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Cape Town with an Honours Degree in Curatorship.

        Van Heerden’s work has been exhibited in the Western Cape, South Africa, at galleries such as Salon 91, the AVA, Grande Provence, 99 Loop, Rust-en-Vrede and Art.b, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Turbine Art Fair. Other professional artistic experience includes a two year stint as gallery manager at the South African Print Gallery, various curatorial projects, as well as internships at the Spier Arts Trust and the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis Galleries.

        SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

        2019
        Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Print portfolio, Woordfees, Stellenbosch, South Africa
        Countershadows. Group exhibition, Art On Avenues, Somerset West, South Africa
        Winter Salon. Group exhibition, Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa
        Jan Cilliers. Group exhibition, curated by Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg, South Africa

        2018
        In Memoriam. Solo exhibition, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        Finalists exhibition. StateoftheArt Gallery Award. StateoftheArt, Cape Town, South Africa
        #Paper. Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        Folklore. Group exhibition, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa
        Midnight. Group exhibition, Salon 91 at Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
        The Grand. Group exhibition, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        Alumni exhibition. Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa
        Botanica. Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        Between Figuration and Abstraction. Group exhibition, Stellenbosch, South Africa
        Jan Cilliers. Group exhibition, curated by Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg, South Africa

        2017
        4.99. Group exhibition, 99 Loop, Cape Town, South Africa
        Winter Show. Group exhibition, DF Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
        Ars Gratia Artis. Group exhibition, Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschhoek, South Africa
        Monumxnts. Group exhibition, The Gallery @ Taj, Cape Town, South Africa
        Angel Tears. Group exhibition, Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschhoek, South Africa

        2016
        Vanitas. Group exhibition, 99 Loop, Cape Town, South Africa
        3.99. Group exhibition, 99 Loop, Cape Town, South Africa
        50/50. Group exhibition, DF Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
        Mono/Lino (with Theo, Jono, Clare and Friends). Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        The Grand 3. Group exhibition, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

        2015
        Welcome to My Garden. Group exhibition, Space Between, Cape Town, South Africa
        Drawing The Line. Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        Golden Haze. Group exhibition, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa

        2014
        The Lines of Memory. Group exhibition, Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa
        NSFW. Group exhibition, Studio 41, Cape Town, South Africa

        2013
        Anatomy For Life. Art Auction and exhibition, Brighton, United Kingdom

        COMPETITIONS

        2018
        StateoftheArt Gallery Award Finalist (Second Place)

        CURATORIAL & OTHER
         
        2019
        Committee member, Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery
        2019
        Curated New Guard Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        2019-2018
        Vice Chair to the Committee of the Association of Visual Arts Bellville (Art.b Gallery), Cape Town, South Africa
        2018
        Curated Botanica Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
        Curated Between Figuration & Abstraction Group exhibition, Absolut Art Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
        2015-2017
        Gallery Manager at the South African Print Gallery
        2015
        Curated Persistence of Memory Group exhibition, Untitled Studios, Cape Town, South Africa

    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        My two favorite South African artists are Judith Mason and Diane Victor. I really admire the technical skill both artists possess, which they often combine with very interesting conceptual ideas.
        I also find inspiration from the people I work most closely with- my Studio mates at Studio 41. I find very encouraging and inspiring. I find myself learning more and more from them each day.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        That’s a tough one. I really admire Ruth Prowse and Erik Laubscher. I went to the art school which came into existence when Ruth Prowse bequeathed all her earthly assets to assist in the establishment of a tertiary education facility, which Erik Laubscher was responsible for seeing through and eventually became the director of – The Ruth Prowse School of Art.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
        I really enjoyed the British Museum in London. Seeing the Rosetta Stone and other historical artifacts and sculptures was a very special experience for me – even though it wasn’t an art exhibition I did consider the things I saw to be art objects in themselves. 

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
        My work is inspired my experience of culture and our heritage. For my graduate body of work I explored the mythological and mystical tendencies of the Afrikaans culture, which then led me into studying History and Politics after graduating in Fine Art. Memory plays an important role in my work. I also really love nature and wildlife, and spending time in nature always breathes new life into my work.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
        Good music and good coffee, that’s the key!

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        I enjoy working on my own schedule – not having to conform to the traditional nine to five. I also find that being an artist enables me to constantly meet new people, which I really enjoy.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
        If I experience a block I try to occupy myself with something else, such as reading or going out for a walk with my dogs. Bouncing ideas off my contemporaries also helps a lot when I’m experiencing a block.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
        The mere decision to pursue a career in the arts and the ability to stick with it is for me a great achievement in itself. I used to be an extremely shy person, but when decided to study art I felt empowered and confident as a person.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
        Yes – I want to provoke thought and discussion in my audience, but I also want to bring beauty into their lives with my artwork – the balance between conceptual and artistic skill is very important to maintain in this regard.

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        My plan for the year is to work consistently and explore some new avenues in my art I’ve recently discovered.



    • Video
  • Lemur In A Tree - Drawing by Adele van Heerden ADELE VAN HEERDEN
    Lemur In A Tree
    Drawing / 24 x 31 cm
    $390
  • Archer In Tulips - Drawing by Adele van Heerden ADELE VAN HEERDEN
    Archer In Tulips
    Drawing / 24 x 31 cm
    $390
  • Toy Soldiers - Drawing by Adele van Heerden ADELE VAN HEERDEN
    Toy Soldiers
    Drawing / 31 x 31 cm
    $390
  • Botanical Lemur - Drawing by Adele van Heerden ADELE VAN HEERDEN
    Botanical Lemur
    Drawing / 31 x 31 cm
    $390
  • Three Tigers - Drawing by Adele van Heerden ADELE VAN HEERDEN
    Three Tigers
    Drawing / 37 x 52 cm
    $680