Adele van Heerden
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 As an artist and curator living in a world where the binary has been replaced by the spectrum, Van Heerden revels in the beauties of the multifarious, creating intricate pieces in ink and gouache on paper which juxtapose the natural world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, urban, 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. Buildings and 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.
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. 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.
SELECTED PROJECTS & EXHIBITIONS
2021 - Inside/Outside. Solo exhibition, 131 A Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa. 2020 - Home Is Where The Art Is. Group exhibition, ZEITZ MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa; Vanishing Act. Group exhibition, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, Oudtshoorn, South Africa; Spaceship Home. Group exhibition, 131 A Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; A Hazy Shade of Winter. Group exhibition, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa; Hold Fast: A Digital Exhibition of Lockdown Paintings. Solo exhibition hosted on artist website; Ille Digital #7. Group exhibition, Akademie Galerie, Munich, Germany; Phantasmagoria. Group exhibition, Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg, South Africa. 2019 - Unresolved Category. Group exhibition, Gallery MOMO, Cape Town, South Africa; Wildflowers. Group exhibition, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa; Hyper Attribute. Red Room Gallery at Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa; Encite. Group exhibition, Deepest Darkest Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; Secret Garden. Group exhibition, Art on Avenues, Somerset West, South Africa; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Print portfolio, Woordfees, Stellenbosch, South Africa; Countershadows. Group exhibition, Art On Avenues, Somerset West, South Africa; Botanica II. Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Bellville, 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) at AVA Galleries, Cape Town. 2017 – ‘Dialogues’ at State of the Art, Cape Town; ‘Ars Gratia Artis’ and ‘Angel Exhibition’ at The Gallery at Grand Provence, Franschoek; ‘Winter Exhibition’ at DF Contemporary, Cape Town; ‘Monumxnts’ at The Gallery @ Taj, Cape Town. 2016 – ‘Mono/Lino’ at Art B., Belville; 50/50 at DF Contemporary, Cape Town; ‘Vanitas’ and ‘Untitled 3.99’ at 99 Loop Gallery, Cape Town. 2015 – ‘Persistence of Memory and Cabinet of Curiosities’ at Untitled Studios, Cape Town; ‘Drawing the Line’ at Art B., Belville; ‘Welcome to my Garden’ at Space Between Gallery, Cape Town. 2014 – ‘Golden Haze’ at Salon91; ‘NSFW’ at Studio 41, Cape Town. 2013 – ‘Anatomy for Life’, group exhibition, Brighton, U.K.