Young Womxn Contemporaries in South Africa

Young Womxn Contemporaries in South Africa

In celebration of Women’s month 2017 HelloArt decided to compile a list of young Womxn Contemporaries under the age of 35 years of age practising within South Africa. The following artists were nominated by respective galleries in Cape Town and Johannesburg, namely 99 Loop (Cape Town); Kalashnikovv (Johannesburg & Berlin); SMITH studio (Cape Town) and Gallery One11 (Cape Town).


  • Anastasia Pather:

Nominated by: 99 Loop, Cape Town

 Anastasia Pather Stoneface Mixed media on canvas 130 x 97 cm

Anastasia Pather, ‘Stoneface’, Mixed media on canvas, 130 x 97 cm.

 Anastasia Pather Territory Mark Mixed media on canvas 130 x 97 cm

Anastasia Pather, ‘Teritory Mark’, Mixed media on canvas, 130 x 97 cm.


Anastasia Pather lives and works in Johannesburg as a finger painter and woman. She is interested in value, rejection and production.

She completed her first solo show ‘Meeting you’ at 99 Loop, Cape Town (2016) and will return to the space for a follow-up solo show titled ‘Everything must go’ in November 2017.


  • Angelica Lüthi

Nominated by: Gallery One11


Angelica Lüthi, ‘Langeberg Mountains’, Oil on canvas.


Angelica Lüthi explores the idea of mankind’s brutality towards nature as well as the awe-inspiring power  of nature itself through her landscape painting. She explores atmosphere and mood, experimenting with personifying nature to create an immediate relationship between the viewer and the subject matter in her Escape series. She paints as a conduit, translating nature through colour and mark making, capturing the ethereal and transient in the looseness of paint.


  • Anna van der Ploeg:

Nominated by: SMITH studio, Cape Town


Noise brings the promise of reinforments 2

Anna van der Ploeg, ‘Noise brings the promise of reinforcements II’, 2015, 2 colour lithograph on Fabriano Rosaspina, 100 x 71cm

Dependence 2

Anna van der Ploeg, Dependence II’, 2015, 3 colour lithograph and oil painting on Fabriano Rosaspina, 100 x 71cm.


Anna van der Ploeg was born in Cape Town, South Africa in1992 and completed her BAFA at the University of Cape Town in 2015. Trained as a printmaker, she works largely in lithography, monotype, and other printmedia as well as wooden sculpture, drawing and painting. Using laborious, process-based techniques, Anna’s work evokes a feeling of spontaneity and effortlessness.

Her vivid, honey-toned palette and use of natural materials speak closely to her experience as a beekeeper. These colours induce both lightness and melancholy; a landscape of roses between ochre deserts at midday, fading into the subtleties and empathy of dusk. A curious, veiled keeper-figure features broadly across her work, weaving a delicate tension between authority and power, quietness and elation.

Sometimes playful, sometimes somber, Anna’s work holds in the balance a moment in which you are at once unguarded and centred, heavy-hearted and revived.

Arc and Toll builds upon on previous work documenting Anna’s passage to becoming a beekeeper and delves deeper into the metaphors and meaning that she understand of the role. With the presence of certain symbols – a figure, bells, an arch, a veil, light – she hopes to weave a narrative of enquiry to create a space that somehow speaks to the ineffable, or responds to the movements and embodied knowledge that is drawn upon in the practice of beekeeping. The process becomes a ritual, seeking to observe and hold. The exhibition consists primarily of monotypes, chalk pastel and charcoal drawings and oil paintings on paper, as well as wood and metal sculptural objects. These visceral 3-dimensional elements interact with and contrast the flat planes of paper. The works utilize a dappled, honey-inspired palette of terracotta, ochre and sienna, offset with glowing ultramarine and azure. Many pieces are monochrome, relying on subtle contrast in light and mark, while others are bolder and more graphic.


  • Claire Johnson:

Nominated by: SMITH studios, Cape Town



Claire Johnson, High Arch, 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper,
artwork size 55 x 40cm, framed size 92 x 57cm.


Claire Johnson, The Parking Lot, 2016, Acrylic on Zerkall paper, artwork size
80 x 80cm, framed size 92 x 92cm.


Claire Johnson’s visual language stems from her career as a graphic designer. It consists of compositions of ostensibly abstract forms, produced by a self-generated process which is underpinned by the human relationship with objects; and the attempt to relieve artwork from its context. Her work is based on an object which runs through an experiment, which involves the flattening of three dimensional items into unpredictable two dimensional forms. From there, her process becomes loose, shapes are intuitively arranged into compositions, and colour is chosen instinctively, by choosing contrasting combinations on the shop floor.

The subject of her work is always an object, personal or found. An object without context cannot speak for itself, and therefore when being engaged with, inevitably, the beholder will establish their own understanding of its relationship to the world, overwriting any history or significance that it may have had. Its story is completed by the viewer, much as in art; where the viewers subjective perception is the only real experience, regardless of the artists intentions.If the viewer where to know what the object was, the illusion would be broken and process exposed. The audience would not be able to see anything beyond what they then knew, even its the significance would not matter, the power of the imagination hindered. The baggage of its context preventing the viewer from having ownership over its meaning. Through its lifespan, the featured object evolves from a physical item, into a flattened shape, and finally into a composition hung on a wall. Its past becomes irrelevant and it is only ‘genetically’ related to the final piece, the resemblance being purely physical.

The spotlight of significance moves with each change of context. The objects systematic evolution starkly contrasts the viewers engagement of the final piece, being immediate and intuitive. This is the delicate balance, ensuring enough degrees of separation to require the viewer to complete the story themselves, uninfluenced by its context; allowing accessfor unhindered interpretation.

Claire Johnson (b.1986 South Africa), has taken part in numerous group shows at SMITH. Johnson completed a bachelors in visual communication at AAA School of Advertising, after which she did a post graduate diploma at Michealis School of Fine Art. She is currently living and working in Cape Town.


  • Elizaveta Rukavishnikova

Nominated by Kalashnikovv, Johannesburg

Elizaveta Rukavishnikova was born on April 23, 1988 in Moscow, Russia. Her interest in arts, especially the visual, appeared in her childhood. Elizaveta was educated at the Teachers’ College, studied Arabic language at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Moscow, along with continuing drawing and painting pictures.

Rukavishnikova also enrolled at Moscow State Academic Arts College, but due to financial circumstances had to leave education and get a job, which led her to working as a photographer and designer and mastering many blue-collar jobs, such as packer, secretary and a shop assistant.

Later Elizaveta managed to get a rather creative position of a window
dresser, and for several years designed window displays in various Moscow stores, and then worked for GUM – the largest and oldest department store in Moscow – as a window display artist.

Also, loving music and being able to sing and play piano and trumpet,
Elizaveta easily found common language with Moscow- based radical punk
bands, with whom she issued a series of album covers and posters and
recorded a cappela Italian partisan song translated into Russian.

As for her leisure time, the amount of which was dramatically reduced
because of work, she tried to devote as much of it as possible to her main
passion – drawing, so she desided to go travel in India and make her art

While travelling India and Nepal she met her husband who would later
influence her to visit his hometow Johannesburg in South Africa. Since
arriving in South Africa in 2015 she has been producing paintings on
canvas ever since.

Elizaveta have artworks in private collections in Russia , South Africa ,
America, Latvia , Austria .

Elizaveta is currently preparing for her first solo show in September at Kalashnikovv
Gallery, Braamfontein.



‘ Odyssey of the worlds’, Acrylic paint on canvas, 244 x 167 cm.


‘ Kitty pink tank in a desert of colonialism’ , Acrylic Paint on Canvas, 247  x 169 cm.



  • Faatimah Mohamed-Luke

Nominated by: 99 Loop, Cape Town


‘ Coalescence’, Plastic building blocks on acrylic glass, 110cm X 67cm.


‘ Correspond’, 2017, Plastic building blocks on acrylic glass, 110cm X 67cm.


Faatimah Mohamed-Luke (b. 1982) lives and works in Cape Town.

After completing her studies in 2003 she spent her professional life working in various disciplines of design. She is also a founding partner of a successful fashion brand (Adam&Eve). In 2016 she shifted her focus to art and presently creates large-scale wall art made of plastic building blocks.

“ My fascination with creating large-scale works from plastic building blocks comes from my love of minute detail and intricate patterns. I discovered the art of Tessellation (a highly symmetric, edge-to-edge tiling using a simple porcelain shape) on a recent trip to Morocco. I loved how every surface was painstakingly adorned to perfection, and the appreciation from both locals and visitors. I hope to highlight and recreate the art form of tessellation in a modern way using plastic building blocks. This medium creates nostalgia and relevance at the same time.”


  • Grace Cross:

Nominated by: SMITH studio, Cape Town.



Grace Cross, Home, 2014, oil on paper, 67.5 x 96 cm.


Grace Cross, Watchers, 2015, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 cm.


Grace Cross (b. Zimbabwe 1988) is a trans-global material painter who enactments symbols that represent questions about home and land, about assumed gender roles in the domestic sphere, and about security of space today for the foreign body. The material interplay of Cross’s work makes shifting recipe’s rooted in history and African cosmology, to reflect her cultural transmission across national boundaries.

Drawing images through fibre and paint, that have been excavated in part from the past, creates a present generative site (thrown like bones who tell the future). She creates fabricated environments that reflect her in-limbo national identity. These painted enacted environments are incubators to raise questions about our material histories and their legacies upon us today. Her works, rooted in displacement, read like the setting of a stage, or the preparation for a ceremony where healing andbelonging is found through ritual. The images, played out in still syncopated time,

are like conduits, constantly moving through, probing for new space, for a magic, ruptured communication to happen between material, author, and mark. Cross positions herself as an insurgent female mystic, or talis(wo)man stitching symbols to one another like the pre-lingual space between breath and word. Her working process is essentially about physically reworking, or working into, the image and its carrier, harkening back to the many historic female weavers acting in times of crisis. Her work conjures a deep history, bringing transformative cultural wisdoms and materials together to excavate and perforate boundaries of the ‘homeland’.


  • Io Makandal

Nomianted by: Kalashnikovv, Johannesburg


Buffer Between (2016), Io Makandal, Tactile drawing (Installation), Material City exhibition at Everard Read Gallery Cape Town.



Untitled ( Entropy Landscape II), 2017, Mixed Media drawing. Solo Show: Entrophy into a third landscape, Kalashnikov Gallery.


‘ I meander through materials and themes, working automatically, intuiting objects in space, off setting and pairing them with unexpected counterparts. The material ‘things’ range from detritus collected off the street to plant matter, to commodity objects, to industrial matter. I am concerned with chance, order and chaos and how, if I set up a designated space, the objects can begin to jostle up against each other in a sort of struggle for power on the legend of meaning we give them. This material thingness, as vivid entities vibrate with the body as it moves through the space. In contrast, the objects sometimes occupy one flat plane, rendered of equal status and value. Marks and colours create visual mind-scapes or an alternate landscape. The process displaces the familiar and foreign in memory and place.

This working methodology enacts with a greater concern for the meeting of artifice and ‘nature’; a third landscape textures the concrete geometric structures of urban space. Exploring an urban ecology, my work meditates and militates against the effects of urbanism on the environment and human psyche during the Anthropocene.

I am intrigued by how humanised activity on earth creates a binary between nature and society and how this dynamic is continually evolving. I see my work as a fiction of space and place that illustrates the fluctuation between the environment we create and the natural realm.’

Artist Bio:

Io Makandal (b. Johannesburg 1987) completed her BA Fine Art at Michaelis, UCT in Cape Town (2010). Makandal has exhibited extensively in group exhibitions in Cape Town and Johannesburg;  Part 1: The Drawing Room, Spin Space(2011), Conditions, White River Gallery (2013), On The Back of His Words, Constitution Hill (2015), Cross Sections, Kalashnikovv Gallery (2015), In The Midst of Things, KKNK festival (2016), Barclays L’Atelier Top 100, Absa Art Gallery (2016), From Whence They Came, Smith Studio Gallery (2016), Material City, Everard Read Gallery Cape Town (2016). Solo shows include An Imaginary Solution, Blank Projects (2011), From Where I Was, Substation Gallery Melbourne, Kalashnikovv Gallery (2015), Bonus Space, NARS Foundation New York (2016) and Entropy into a Third Landscape, Kalashnikovv Gallery (2017). Residency include: Suburban Residency, SLICA, Johannesburg (2012), Absolut Artist Residency, Johannesburg (2014), NARS Foundation International Artist Residency, Brooklyn, New York (2016). She currently lives and works in Johannesburg.



  • iQhiya Collective:

Nominated by: 99 Loop, Cape Town


Image may contain: 10 people, people standing and indoor

iQhiya is a network of young black women living and working in Cape Town and Johannesburg delving in the realms of performance art, installation, video art, photography and other media.

At the core of the group are shared personal and professional experiences that help shape each individual artist through various projects and exhibitions. iQhiya have emerged in a time where there are contested notions of the roles of gender and tradition within contemporary South Africa, where the centre of power is no longer solely defined by masculinity. The iQhiya Collective are the millennial generation of women that choose to define and represent their own narratives.

*HelloArt would like to send it’s condolences to the iQhiya Collective on the passing of Tshiamo Naledi Letlhogonolo Pinky Mayeng this August.



  • Isabella Chydenius

Nominated by: Gallery One11, Cape Town


‘All Over But Actually Nowhere’, Mixed Media Installation, 2017.


Isabella Chydenius, ‘All Over But Actually Nowhere’, Found Wire, Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas, 2017.


Isabella Chydenius b. 1988 is a Finnish interdisciplinary artist working and living between Helsinki, Finland and Cape Town, South Africa.

Chydenius’ practice focuses on people and the relationship to oneself and the other. Within Isabella’s work she explores the relations to our physical and emotional environments, experimenting and challenging set ideas and norms through the use of varied paint material applications and layered palimpsests of gestural mark making.

Chydenius’ paintings are representations of the mindsets that she commonly encounters within everyday life. The works serve as layered autobiographies whilst reflect a mapping and performative element rich in subtle palimpsets and layers. These abstracted landscapes and subjects visualize and reflect experiences within our world whilst also serve as introspections.

With regards to Isabella’s  installations, the artist creates momentary escapes from the current reality, meditations of sorts, while focusing on important subjects, such as environmental, human- and equal rights. Isabella pays particular focus on public installations in between her paintinerly production in urban landscapes and parks.

Isabella has exhibited at The Everard Read Gallery in Cape Town, Creat Gallery in Helsinki and the new One11 Contemporary Art Space in Cape Town.  Recent projects include an artist residency at ESXLA, solo exhibition at Dalton Warehouse in Los Angeles, Maiden LA in Los Angeles and 100 Boobs at Night of the Arts in Helsinki, Finland.


  • Isabella Kuijers

Nominated by: 99 Loop, Cape Town


 Isabella Kuijers Overgrown II (Fukushima), 2016 Mixed media on paper 30 x 54 cm

Isabella Kuijers, Overgrown II (Fukushima), 2016, Mixed media on paper, 30 x 54 cm.

 Isabella Kuijers Ozymandias, 2016 Mixed media on paper 69 x 96 cm

Isabella Kuijers, ‘ Ozymandias’, 2016, Mixed Media on paper, 69 x 96cm.

Isabella Kuijers is an artist, curator and writer who graduated with a BFA from the University of Stellenbosch in 2014.

While Kuijers’s medium might vary from watercolours and oil sketches to reverse-glass paintings, botanical imagery pervades all of her work, like rhizomes probing through the soil. Her enduring fascination with plants and the meaning with which they have been imbued is in part due to the pace at which plant life proliferates, forming a backdrop to human endeavour. Kuijers has cast plant life as both personal and political, as a foil to human perceptions of time and reality and, ultimately, as a gently resilient force.

She creates bouquets of experience in her work. Images from dreams, historical sources and popular culture find their way into the paintings: ‘These quotidian fantasies, daydreams and anxieties are cobbled togetherfrom a cluttered mind fed on nightmares, YouTube binges and hours of Pinterest and Tumblr. Altogether they create a language of contemporary symbols or a set of absurd tarot cards; dream-like mash-ups composting gently and terrifyingly.’

Kuijers lives and works in Cape Town, and writes for the publication Art Throb. She will be exhibiting a second solo show at 99 Loop, 27 September – 21 October 2017, titled ‘Codex’.


  • Jeanne Gaigher:

Nominated by: SMITH studio, Cape Town



Jeanne Gaigher, Car (II), 2016, Giclée print on archival paper, Edition 1/1,
42 x 59cm.


Jeanne Gaigher is a visual artist living and working in Cape Town, South Africa whose sumptuous, moody paintings have made her a collectors’ favourite and a rising star within the SMITH stable.

Having graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2013, Gaigher spent the ensuing years between Taiyuan, China and Monroe, Louisiana in the United States. From this confusion of cultures, continents and contexts emerged Gaigher’s now signature style.

For Gaigher, painting, and the tactile experience the medium offers, is “a tool to scrape at information and ideas that I find too difficult to put successfully into words or any other visual material.” Drawing from her chosen prompts, whether parts of songs, sound recordings and photographs, Gaigher uses paint to extract these ideas or moments and develop them into atmosphere or feeling.

By painting on photographs or using photographs as departure points for paintings, Gaigher accentuates the mythical quality of photography and stages a reality by manipulating or corrupting that basis. Inquisitively probing at the initial image, Gaigher superimposes it with feeling, mood and movement. The artist uses impulsive, responsive brush marks to pull the subject matter away from easy identities or accepted realities and back into a mysterious grey area where they regain their potential.

Many of Gaigher’s painterly decisions – the use of textured scrim over canvas, the creased canvases themselves, the loose hanging of her work, her use of veils – all have an element of deliberate uncertainty about them. Whether by actively shrouding identity or coaxing it out of obscurity, these gestures culminate in images we simultaneously accept and doubt. Drawing from art writer Jan Verwoert, Gaigher’s art subsequently “is what it isn’t and it isn’t what it is” –entirely of the world yet quite otherworldly.

Capturing her scenes in their passage from one reality towards another, Gaigher’s work homes in on the truth of perpetual movement, impermanence and flux. To this end, her solo show at Smith in 2016, Wieg – meaning “vacillate” in Afrikaans – was produced during a difficult limbo in Cape Town between periods elsewhere.

With Club (2015), Gaigher had hinted at this central struggle. In overlaying images taken in China as an alienated voyeur with the luxurious colour and headiness of a Louisiana swampland to talk about her relationship to place, Gaigher drew the outside in, ingesting discernible things, places and colours before rebirthing them as amalgams of all of the above. By colliding these so-called realities, Gaigher conjured something new and only vaguely recognizable; something tantalisingly out of reach.

A mistrust of certainty is at the crux of Gaigher’s work. Club referred to a manufactured space where everything could be contained. Gaigher, with tongue firmly in cheek, used a combination of canvases, scrims and prints to mock the idea that she, or anyone, can truly capture place and time.

More than that, Gaigher’s works strive to reveal an underlying tension in our ordinary perception of images by exploring the disjunction between the screen as a description and a mode of communication. These works are not stolid or inert; they are alive and responsive.

“Even photographs can seem too removed; painting makes me feel like the world is closer to me,” says Gaigher. “When painting any inanimate object, you give it a fantastical feeling. You give it a new function.”

Gaigher draws from a broad reservoir of references – foreign and local – but consistently bases her thinking around place relative to her own presence in it. Thus a distant, mesmerising outer world becomes intimately her own.

“I think it’s very important not to grasp at subjects that you don’t have or haven’t tried to have a relationship with. I like having a personal experience with my subject matter. I think South Africa is one of the strangest countries in the world and therefore one of the most exciting.”

“A master in the making” – Sean O’Toole.


  • Katharien de Villiers:

Nominated by: SMITH studio, Cape Town



Katharien de Villiers, #siesjong, 2017, Film documentation, Dimensions varied.


Katharien de Villiers, Floating almost the same, 2016, 35m film, variable.



2015 MFA in Installation, passed with highest distinction, KASK, Gent, Belgium

2012 BA (FA), distinction in Sculpture and Studiowork, Stellenbosch School of Fine Art, Stellenbosch University

umhlanga katharien de villiers





I often feel as if I were sitting still and the space is being performed in front of me. Everything is in motion. This not only applies to comprehensive systems, but also to my perception of a given space, here and now, and to our interaction with other people. My practice is founded on a type of tension between mythology, fiction and the real, accumulated over time and yet compounded in space free of time. Writing, photography, drawing, assemblages and sculpting are means of manipulating and connecting a multitude of different materials. The outcome is produced through a thought process concerned with my relation to a space, which becomes a concern with the work’s, as a product of thought, relation to the space.

At present I am especially occupied with the fable, a poetic view of time, and the architectonics of the skies. This, as it has now come, as the claim and appeal of the measure to the heart, in such a way that the heart turns to give heed to the measure.

(Measure thought ~ action. Thinking is not doing, doing can be mixed with thinking, yet you can teach your doing to think. It can have a voice, a reason to speak. Your doing can become your being, your being can have a voice. )

The Umhlanga series evolves around the 65 girls who died in a head-on collision on route to the annual Umhlanga, or Reed dance, in Swaziland. Every year about 40,000 girls and young women take part in the ceremony, during which King Mswati chooses his new wife. Little can prepare you for the sheer scale of the pageantry, with column upon column of girls advancing like vast ululating centipedes across the parade grounds of Ludzidzini, each dissolving in turn into the pulsating mass of bodies around the royal kraal. Up close, it’s an almost overwhelming immersion in noise and colour, as the girls stamp, sing and sway in step, anklets rattling, naked flesh and dazzling costume blurring into a living,

Chanting kaleidoscope. The Swaziland Solidarity Network has called on King Mswati III to show some respect to the bereaved families of girls who were killed in the accident and cancel this year’s Reed Dance festival. But Mswati refused, and the dance continued with the ghosts of the dead laying heavy on the festivities.

Umhlanga invites the viewer to interact with the work. The sound of the pvc pipes. Moving and the hypnotic effect of the seductively swirling green speaks of the lithe bodies of the young dancers. The swish of their skirts and the clack of their reeds. The the use of material and kinetic qualities activated by the viewer implies that the work can only fully be experienced when viewers are participating. Each viewer will experience the work differently, and although the work revolves around Umhlanga, meaning is subjected to the individual experience. I prefer exploring possibility, rather than attributing meaning. Seeing a familiar material within a completely new context twists the eye to bend the brain a little.

Umhlanga exists as a tension between seduction and repulsion, begging the viewer to play a game with ghostly effects.


  • Katrine Claassens

Nominated by: 99 Loop, Cape Town



Katrine Claassens, ‘We Came At A Time’, 2017, Melted Antartic Sea Ice, Watercolour and oil on Canvas’, 152.4 x 121.9.


Katrine Claassens, ‘Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight’, 2017, Melted Antartic Sea Ice, Water colour and Oil on canvas, 121.9 x 152.4 cm.


Katrine Claassens is a painter from Cape Town. She has a degree in Visual Arts from Stellenbosch University (2007) and Master’s degree in Climate Change from the University of Cape Town (2015).

After graduating from her first degree she lived between Quebec and France, developing her artistic practice before moving back to South Africa in 2012.

Her paintings reflect her interest in climate change, deep ecology, urban ecology, and internet memes.


  • Leila Walter

Nominated by: Gallery One11



Leila Walter, Beneath The Palms, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 790 x 790 x 45 mm.


Leila Walter (b. 1992) completed her BFA at the Michaelis School of Fine

Art in 2014. After graduating as a sculpture major, she has since shifted her focus to drawing and painting. Her practice is characterised by a preoccupation with repetitive mark making and layering in an attempt to create symbolic depth. Layers of marks and glazes simultaneously conceal and reveal the history of the surface, as well as the symbolic oscillation between the internal and external which she believes to be inherent in the painting process. Her approach to the medium positions each work as a vantage point within a progression rather than a conclusive destination, encouraging the viewer to explore the many histories and potential realities inherent in each surface. Walter exhibited in the AVA Gallery’s Greatest Hits in 2015 and has works in the University of Cape Town’s permanent collection.

She currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.



  • Maaike Bakker

Nominated by: Kalashnikovv, Johannesburg



Maaike-Bakker, ‘ Strange-negotiations’, 2017, Spraypaint, collage-and-lasercutting-and-pencil-on-paper.



Maaike-Bakker, Everything That Happens, (2014), Cement dust in natural wood frames.


Maaike Bakker, born 1986 is visual artist working with various drawing, sculpture and installation based mediums. Bakker’s work predominantly explores themes of notation and ephemerality. Her practice also investigates limitations imposed by systems or structures and aims to determine at what point such structures may become excessive and irrelevant, ultimately exploring futility.


  • Marsi van de Heuvel:

Nominated by: SMITH studio, Cape Town



Marsi van de Heuvel, Florescence (and detail), 2016, Fineliner on Fabriano, 67 x 50cm.


Marsi van de Heuvel, Radient (and detail), 2016, Fineliner on
Fabriano, 37 x 28cm.


Marsi van de Heuvel (b. 1987) grew up in her mother’s art classroom with unlimited access to materials and surrounded by books on master painters. She has spent countless hours observing, exploring and practicing. After trying her hand in film photography and finding the practice creatively restrictive; her innate inquisitiveness led her to study further. She went on to study fine art at The Ruth Prowse School of Art and was drawn to the constantly expanding boundaries of art, and its invitation to examine life. She graduated in 2010 with a painting major.

Despite most of her current work being executed with fineliner pen, van de Heuvel still sees herself as a painter. She approaches the color and layers in her works as if she is working with oil paint; this gives the ‘drawings’ a radiant quality. The subjects of mountains, volcanoes, seascapes, and outer space portrayed in her work have illustrated how van de Heuvel has always contemplated perspectives of who we are and where we are.

Van de Heuvel is interested in art as therapy, for the artist and the viewer. Her most recent work of abstract drawings and drawings of flowers explore our inner, intimate landscape and the beauty and warmth of human connection. She describes the process behind this new body of work as being similar to the performance of ballet that is graceful and effortless but the practice of which is in fact very rigid, repetitive and restrictive. Making lightness and finding internal space within restraints, results in harmony. This is what she attempts with layers of one directional mark making; to create openness and beauty within the struggle.


  • Nobukho Nqaba

Nominated by: 99 Loop, Cape Town

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

Nobukho Nqaba, ‘Undibizela kuwe II’, Giclée print, ed of 8 , 59.4 x 41.3 cm.


Nobukho Nqaba (1992) graduated from Michaelis with a BA in Fine Art, followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education also obtained at the University of Cape Town.

She has participated in group exhibitions locally and internationally and currently works as a practising artist and Visual Arts Teacher at the Frank Joubert Art Centre. Recent projects include ‘Displacement’ at 99 Loop and AKAA (Also Known As Africa) in France 2016.


  • Ronél De Jager

Nominated by: Gallery One11, Cape Town 

ronel de jager_aeon

‘ Aeon’ (series) , Oil on canvas, 2017.

ronel de jager

‘ Sea of Flames’, Oil on canvas, 2017.


Ronel de Jager (b.1985, Johannesburg, South Africa) studied BTech Fine Arts at Tshwane University of Technology, where she obtained distinctions in Painting and Printmaking in her final year (2006).

De Jager describes her works as evolving from traces of light which become fragments of a greater whole – chance encounters that either resonate and linger, or are seen and forgotten. This is further investigated in Broeigrond; exploring how energy, light and metamorphosis are embedded in nature and what it may tell us about our existence and future.

The artist’s work has featured in a number of curated group exhibitions, including amongst others Interrupted (UJ Gallery, 2013); No Place Like Now (Lovell Gallery, 2013); Point of Departure (Lizamore & Assoc. Gallery, 2014); Macabre (Under Culture Contemporary, 2015); Stellar (Salon91, 2015); Winter is Coming (Equus Gallery, 2015); For What It’s Worth (No End Contemporary, 2016) and more recently Spaces Between Maps (ABSA Gallery, KKNK Festival, 2016) and 35 Years: A Lizamore Perspective (Lizamore & Associates, 2017).

De Jager’s works are included in a number of private collections, locally and internationally, as well as in the corporate art collections of Sasol, Telkom, Spier, Hollard, Rand Merchant Bank, Nando’s International & the permanent collection of the South African National Library.


  • Zarah Cassim

Nominated by: 99 Loop, Cape Town

 Zarah Cassim 'A Certain Place' Oil on canvas  45 x 61 cm

Zarah Cassim
Zarah Cassim, ‘A Certain Place’, Oil on Canvas, 45 x 61 cm.


Zarah Cassim is a young artist, born and raised in Cape Town. She graduated from the UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2014 with a major in photography and painting. Her first solo exhibition of paintings was with 99 Loop in September 2015.

Apart from her Fine Art studies, Zarah has been part of the Kids Clay initiative and has taught ceramics at leading schools in Cape Town. She has worked for the Elle Decoration SA magazine and has written online articles for them.

She is co-owner and designer of South African ladies clothing label, Lazuli which has been supported by the Cape Town Fashion Council and has taken part in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town in recent years.

In 2013 she was named a finalist in the Sasol New Signature Artists competition and was named a finalist in the 2015 Barclays Absa l’Atelier competition.

Cassim is a passionate creative, involved in multiple areas of the South African creative industry and views all of the above as integral to her growth and artistic practice. She is currently based in Paris.


*HelloArt, 2017.


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