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Drawing a triangle on the beach using a stick. Changing color because of changing weather Cut out a grass sod from the forest is attached to a tree Cut out a grass sod from the forest is attached to a tree
The oaks in Dorpstreet * Drawing a triangle on the beach using a stick. Color changes with the weather. * Cut out a grass sod from the forest is attached to a tree * Earth Work / Land Art

12 DuToit Street, Stellenbosch, 7600 South Africa
Tel/Fax: 0027 (0)21 8866496

Strijdom van der Merwe

30012830 Landscape and graphic artist
Author of Sculpting the land
, Protea Boekhuis, 2005 and Sculpting the Earth, 2010

Strijdom van der Merwe was born on 2 June 1961 and grew up on a farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg.
He completed his fine arts degree in 1984 at Stellenbosch University and furthered his studies at Hooge School Voor de Kunste, Utrecht, Holland (where he studied print-making); The Academy of Art and Architecture and Design, Praha, Czech Republic and at The Kent Institute of Art and Design, Canterbury, England. Since 1996 he has worked full time as a land artist.

Previous Positions:
Artist in Residence - Kent Institute of Art & Design, Canterbury, U.K. (1995 - 1996)
Computer Graphics Lecturer - University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch (1993 - 1995)
Graphic Designer - University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch (1984 - 1990)

As a land artist in general he uses the materials provided by the chosen site. His sculptural forms take shape in relation to the landscape. It is a process of working with the natural world, using sand, water, wood, rocks etc.. He shapes these elements into geometrical forms that participate with their environment, continually changing until their final probable destruction. He observes the fragility of beauty, while not lamenting its passing, what remains is a photographic image, a fragment of the imagination. While a visual record is materially all that is left, he also leaves us a reminder of the capacity, however feeble, of an individual to alter the universe by embracing the ceaseless changing of nature, actively contributing to it and, in so doing, modulating and beautifying the outcome.

Exhibitions and commissions on invitation were done in South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, France, Sweden, Lithuania, Japan, Australia, Germany, England the Netherlands and Italy. He held many personal exhibitions in various art galleries in the past years and his work has been bought by numerous private and public collectors locally and abroad.
See his website for a more detailed CV.

Awards and Honours:

John van Reenen Bursary as the best Graphic Design Student, Univ of Stellenbosch
Jackson Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant Medal of Honor 2007 from the South African Academy of Arts and Science
Nominated for the Daimler Chrysler award for sculpture in Public Spaces 2008
Kanna Award in collaboration with Laurinda Hofmeyr at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival best musical visual Art production

     Enlarge all and see more photos
Strijdom van der Merwe collects a WOORDtroFEES prize 2010 for a fellow artist. * Meyerton

More photos at www.designindaba.com

Text by Strijdom van der Merwe, March 2010

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