• 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 As an artist and curator living in a world where the binary has been replaced by the spectrum, Van Heerden revels in the beauties of the multifarious, creating intricate pieces in ink on paper which juxtapose the natural world with human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, 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. 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. 
    Living in post-colonial, post-apartheid South Africa, there are many spectres of the past to confront. Van Heerden’s work is contemplative of colonial hangovers, using juxtaposition to inspire subtle humour. There are polarising and extreme views in South Africa but, as an antidote, Van Heerden invites nuance and ambiguity. She explains: “South Africans have an ability to deal with it in a way that inspires hope.” 
    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. “It made me realise,” she comments, “that all my interests are interlinked, overlap, and feed/bleed into each other.”

N Dip. Fine Art (Ruth Prowse School Of Art)
BA Degree in History and Politics (University of South Africa)
Honours Degree in Curatorship (UCT, Cape Town)



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. 

Van Heerden’s work has been exhibited in the Western Cape, South Africa, at galleries such as Salon 91, the AVA, Grande Provence, 99 Loop, Rust-en-Vrede and Art.b, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Turbine Art Fair. Other professional artistic experience includes a two year stint as gallery manager at the South African Print Gallery, various curatorial projects, as well as internships at the Spier Arts Trust and the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis Galleries.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2019
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Print portfolio, Woordfees, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Countershadows. Group exhibition, Art On Avenues, Somerset West, 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 exhibition, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Finalists exhibition. StateoftheArt Gallery Award. StateoftheArt, Cape Town, South Africa
#Paper. Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Folklore. Group exhibition, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa
Midnight. Group exhibition, Salon 91 at Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Grand. Group exhibition, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Alumni exhibition. Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa
Botanica. Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Between Figuration and Abstraction. Group exhibition, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Jan Cilliers. Group exhibition, curated by Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg, South Africa

2017
4.99. Group exhibition, 99 Loop, Cape Town, South Africa
Winter Show. Group exhibition, DF Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
Ars Gratia Artis. Group exhibition, Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschhoek, South Africa
Monumxnts. Group exhibition, The Gallery @ Taj, Cape Town, South Africa
Angel Tears. Group exhibition, Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschhoek, South Africa

2016
Vanitas. Group exhibition, 99 Loop, Cape Town, South Africa
3.99. Group exhibition, 99 Loop, Cape Town, South Africa
50/50. Group exhibition, DF Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
Mono/Lino (with Theo, Jono, Clare and Friends). Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
The Grand 3. Group exhibition, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2015
Welcome to My Garden. Group exhibition, Space Between, Cape Town, South Africa
Drawing The Line. Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Golden Haze. Group exhibition, Salon 91, Cape Town, South Africa

2014
The Lines of Memory. Group exhibition, Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa
NSFW. Group exhibition, Studio 41, Cape Town, South Africa

2013
Anatomy For Life. Art Auction and exhibition, Brighton, United Kingdom

COMPETITIONS

2018
StateoftheArt Gallery Award Finalist (Second Place)

CURATORIAL & OTHER 
 
2019
Committee member, Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery 
2019
Curated New Guard Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2019-2018
Vice Chair to the Committee of the Association of Visual Arts Bellville (Art.b Gallery), Cape Town, South Africa
2018
Curated Botanica Group exhibition, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Curated Between Figuration & Abstraction Group exhibition, Absolut Art Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2015-2017
Gallery Manager at the South African Print Gallery
2015
Curated Persistence of Memory Group exhibition, Untitled Studios, Cape Town, South Africa

Artist: Adele Van Heerden
Title: “Tigris et Papilione”, 2018
Medium: Mixed media
Size: 305 x 305 mm

Artist: Adele Van Heerden
Title: “Droplets” 2019
Medium: Ink on Drafting Film
Size: 51 x 56.5 cm