Youngblood! / by Natasja De Wet

I am partaking in an abstract group exhibition at Youngblood in Bree Street until end of March. The body of 25 small artworks is about my ongoing exploration of the concept Temperaments. It would be my pleasure to meet you at the Beautiful Life Building if you are interested in a walkabout.

BIOGRAPHY

Natasja de Wet was born in South Africa in 1968. She is a Fine Art and Graphic Design graduate from Tshwane University of Technology. De Wet continued her studies in Visual Art at UNISA under former professor and HOD of Visual Art Elfriede Dreyer and Koos van der Watt, at third-year level in Drawing and Painting. De Wet’s subtle portrayal of the human psyche led her to study Psychophonetics (personal development) at Persephone College under Jehuda Tagar.

In her early solo exhibitions, Facing Reality (2001) and Living in Process (2002), she questioned and excavated, with oil on acrylic sheets, the continual process of life. In 2004 she followed these with a conceptual and installation exhibition about Valkenburg Mental Hospital (Re-Con-Text), with dramatic drawings and mixed-media work linked to three-dimensional assemblage, constructed from found objects.

After partaking in a group exhibition (Afrovibes) in Amsterdam, another solo exhibition, Thicker Skin was held in Cape Town in 2008 (the work here a row of acrylic boxes containing objects made from fabric, latex, gauze, bandages, rubber and paper, exploring issues like camouflage, hiding, insecurity and sexuality).

Also in 2008, Sasol Gas acquired the work on paper 'The grass is greener on the other side', and it now hangs in the foyer of the Sasol Gas building in Johannesburg.

In 2009 De Wet participated in the Florence Biennale, where she received an award for ‘Excavating Solid Courage’ – a mixed-media work on paper. She continued with this theme and showed the body of work ‘Contemplation’ at the 2011 Izmir Biennale in Turkey.

In her fifth solo exhibition, Running Towards Yourself, in Cape Town in 2013, De Wet explored the notion that, unconsciously, humans are in constant flux to balance, or at least harmonize, the feminine and masculine sides of their being. The paintings were produced in acrylic on canvas, allowing for the rapid and energetic application of paint and expressionistic mark-making.

In 2015 one of De Wet’s paintings from the body of work ‘Running Towards Yourself’ was acquired for the permanent collection of the city of Seinäjoki, in Finland.

All De Wet’s work can be seen as portraiture of some kind. She instinctively strives to reveal the inner character, or soft underbelly, of humankind.