• Adele van Heerden

    Adele van Heerden
    • Artist Statement
      • This series consists of layered drawings questioning the relevance of the commemoration of war heroes in a post-colonial landscape. Drawings of toy soldiers and horses are imposed and juxtaposed with the colonial-era monument. They can be read as a type of site-intervention, exploring the differences and similarities between playthings and monuments. Each has its own set of meaning and association, and when juxtaposed, launches a confrontation of the past. A central theme to this body of work is the idea that cultural objects, in the form of toys and monuments, are important symbolic containers for social interactions.
    • 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)

        Adele van Heerden is an artist and curator who lives and works in Cape Town. She graduated in Fine Arts at the Ruth Prowse School of Art in 2010, and obtained a BA Degree in History and Politics at the University of South Africa. In 2015 she graduated from the University of Cape Town with an Honours Degree in Curatorship.

        Adele has exhibited widely in group shows at galleries such as Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate, 99 Loop Gallery, DF Contemporary, Rust en Vrede, Art B. Bellville and Salon 91.
    • 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.