Berdine Neethling

"I’m a traveler at heart who loves to explore new places, immerse myself in a culture and uncover unique pieces of craft and new trends. I recently came to a point where it’s time to discover my passion in life and pursue it to the full. This led to the recent creation of my brand, Curatably, and the first step – a blog. The aim is to grow further in the discovery of new trends and products ranging from food to lifestyle with the core of making a difference and bettering lives. Causes also form an integral part of the brand."

Gallery Director Jennifer Reynolds chats to Berdine Neethling about her art collection and her guiding principles for starting a collection.

What was the first piece of art you bought?
This beautiful portrait side-profile of a woman by Pretoria artist Jeanne Marais. It just resonated with something in me at that time in my life.

How would you describe your taste in art? What are you most drawn to?
Very eclectic! I love to walk into a gallery and just see that piece which speaks to something in my soul.

What role does art play in your life?
I grew up in an environment where exposure to the art of music, literature and paintings were a constant force. The appreciation of these art forms gained momentum through my adoration of a grandmother who was an amazing patron of the arts.  Through art always being in the background of my everyday life it kind of stuck and formed my own feel for it.  It plays such a constant role by enhancing the space in which I live and move around in. I am always aware of different forms of it in our everyday society – on a wall in a gallery or presented on a plate in one of Cape Town’s amazing restaurants.

What is the favorite piece of art that you own?
A portrait of my grandmother which was left to me.
Do you have any advice for someone starting an art collection?
Do not get trapped in what others say is art or what you must buy as investment. Buy the artwork that speaks to you as an individual, that tugs at your heartstrings. Also explore different galleries in your area and interact with local artists, the passion of an artist is really energizing.

How would you describe your personal style?
Very eclectic – everything has a story or memory to tell.

What does the art in your home say about you?
That I don’t stick to just one artist or form of art. There is classic art and a quirky art piece that will be grouped together. I really love Cape Town and the works of local artists. This forms a core of my collection.

Which South African artist, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
Definitely Irma Stern!

Which books are on your bedside table?
Quite a stack! But to name a few – I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Nora Roberts (my guilty pleasure), Saving Safa by Waris Dirie, One of us by Asne Seierstad, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen and a Bible.

What music are you currently listening to?
It depends on the mood I am in but I have tracks from Queen, Aerosmith, Frank Sinatra, Calvin Harris, Freddie Mercury, Nina Simone and Matchbox 20 on my current playlist.

What was the last great exhibition you went to?
The Mademoiselle Privé exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London was amazing but the showstopper has to be the Alexander McQueen exhibition that was held at the V&A Museum. He was such a tortured soul but his clothing pieces are art.

Do you have a favourite museum or gallery (worldwide)?
MoMa in New York

If you could have any piece of art on StateoftheART regardless of price or size, what would it be and why?
Chris Denovan’s triptych – Portrait of Maya. I love how he boldly expresses his own style of creating portraits and the constant evolution of the abstract effects that combine to form the features.


This collection is a combination of elements in the artworks that resonate with me. There might be a Karoo scene that reminds me of my background or a strong female feature that just highlights the beauty of a woman’s soul. The quirkiness and playfulness of some works just have to belong in a collection – you need the fun and unexpected in your life to keep you on your toes.