HERMIEN VAN DER MERWE
Artist Hermien van der Merwe is fascinated by Cape fynbos plants.
Living at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, Hermien is embraced by inspiration for her work. She regularly walks along the nearby mountain paths in the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, absorbing her surroundings with all her senses.
“I see buds appear, flowers open and seeds form as the seasons change. I smell the foliageand feel the mountain air against my skin. I pause at interesting leaves and cones – feelingtheir textures,” says Hermien.
It is in this walking, seeing, touching, breathing in... that Hermien observes the interaction between fire, drought, and rain on Cape fynbos. She is constantly exploring the parallel between the physical and the spiritual, as she engages with nature as creation.
Hermien hopes to raise awareness for fynbos and preserve it for future generations – preferably as a living, adaptable biome but also immortalized in art.
For this exhibition, I include prints of my new fynbos artworks in oil paint - all done during
and after lockdown in 2020. The theme that I worked with is ‘Abundace’ and ‘Overflow’ in
contrast to the restrictions that we all had to live with. These paintings were made to bring
pleasure, colour and freedom into our lives in this tense time.
I used fynbos plants as my inspiration but deviated from the original colours and shapes early
in my creative process, as I wanted to portray freedom in my mark making with vibrant
colours and strong contrasts. The creative process of layering lights over darks, connects
perfectly with the exhibition theme: Subsurface Scattering.
1992 – 1995: B.Prim.Ed.Art at the University of Stellenbosch
1996 – 1998: Art Teacher at De Kuilen Primary School
1998 – 2001: Travel in Europe and Canada
2001 – 2010: Artist; Art Teacher
2011: Completed an advanced art course at the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town
2011 – Present: Full time artist in Durbanville, Cape Town
2005: Solo exhibition: KKNK, Oudtshoorn
2006: Solo exhibition: KKNK, Oudtshoorn
2007: Solo exhibition: KKNK, Oudtshoorn
2008: Group exhibition: The Meul, Philadelphia, Cape Town
2009: Group exhibition: The Meul, Philadelphia, Cape Town
2010: Group exhibition: The Meul, Philadelphia, Cape Town
2012: Group exhibition: Durbanville Arts and Cultural Society
2013: Zivaglo Light Show, Woordfest, Stellenbosch
2013: New Signatures exhibition: Alice Art Gallery, Johannesburg
2013: Group Exhibition: Durbanville Arts and Cultural Society
2014: Group Exhibition: Rust and Vrede Gallery, Durbanville, "The Grand"
2014: Solo Exhibition, Rust and Vrede Gallery, Durbanville: "Blom waar jy geplant is" (Flower where you are sown)
2015: Group Exhibition, ANPA Galery, Franschhoek: "Homer Sapiens"
2015: Solo Exhibition, Hermien van der Merwe Gallery, Durbanville
2017: Solo Exhibition: “Composing Art”, Welgemeend, Cape Town
2018: Solo Exhibition: ‘Come Fire, Come Rain’, Welgemeend, Cape Town
2018: Strauss & Co. group exhibition: "Boundaries" South African women artists over the past 100 years; Welgemeend, Cape Town
2018: Group exhibition: “What we need is here”, Welgemeend, Cape Town
2019: Solo exhibition: "Let it rain", The Old Agricultural Hall, Stellenbosch
2019: Group exhibition: “Fynbos en die emmer obsessie’, Welgemeend, Cape Town
2019: Group exhibition: “Natura: Botanica Terrarum”, Gallery One11, Cape Town
Growth: Dry Protea Nitida
Oil on canvas.
Throw/tablecloth: Fynbos artwork printed on natural linen.
2640x1460mm. Edition 1/10.