Since I started the drawings, the Covid-19 virus happened, I continued to work on them during the weeks, and months of severe lock-down, that followed. The drawings have become more about peoples sense of isolation and loneliness during the lock-down period and our desire to interact with other humans, made possible by the online digital age we live in. The immediacy, tactility, tenderness and intimacy of the drawing process and the medium is what makes it a perfect vehicle in which to explore these ideas.
About Hentie van der Merwe
Hentie van der Merwe lives and works in Darling. He divides his time between his studio and doing product development for his and his partner Frits van Ryneveld’s Darling Sweet and Swartland Kitchen brands.
Born in Windhoek, Namibia, Van der Merwe studied Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he obtained both his BA and MA degrees. He attended the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Antwerp, Belgium, between 2000 and 2002 and the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, USA in 2001.
He has held many solo exhibitions both in South Africa and abroad and participated in numerous group exhibitions both in South Africa and internationally. Some of these exhibitions were curated by acclaimed international curators such as Jan Hoet (My Private Heroes, MARTa Herford, Germany, 2005) and Okwui Enwezor (Snap Judgements: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, International Center of Photography, New York, 2006). He won the prize for best visual artist at the BIG Torino 2002 International Biennale of Young Art in Italy, curated by Michelangelo Pistoletto and, in 2008, the Sasol Wax Art Award for professional South African artists.