Biography & Artist’s Statement

Johandi du Plessis completed her BA Fine Arts in 2014 at the University of the Free State, majoring in

sculpture and installation with distinction. Currently she is lecturing part-time as a Junior Lecturer at the

Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Free State, in drawing, installation and painting. She is also

reading for her Masters in Fine Arts.

Johandi was selected as a finalist in the Absa l’Atelier Top 100 in 2015 and 2014. She was also selected as a

finalist in the Sasol New Signatures Top 100 in 2015 and 2013. She has participated in several group

exhibitions: Idée Fixe: Annual Graduate Exhibition of the Department of Fine Arts (2015), Oculus: Annual

Student Exhibition of the Department of Fine Arts (2014), Curiosus: Annual Student Exhibition of the

Department of Fine Arts (2013) and Unleashed: Annual Student Exhibition of the Department of Fine Arts


Furthermore she won the flight prize for best student in third year, and prize for best student in sculpture in

second year. She was chosen as 1 of 10 postgraduate students from the University of the Free State to partake

in the Third ACS Institute 2015: Precarious Futures (Association for Cultural Studies) held in Bloemfontein in

December 2015. She was selected for the Honours Mentorship Programme for young researchers, UFS in 2014.

The work she creates can be read as a thesis, and rather than answer, it questions. The exhibition thereof is its

publication. The installation she created in 2014 is the record/remains/documentation of a thought-process, and

evidence of action having taken place. The installation comprised of three interconnected frames: process, place

and problem. Language mixing between mother-tongue, and first and second language becoming ever-prevalent

amongst young ‘Afrikaners’ or Afrikaans-speakers was the departure point for the research project. She explored

a part of her identity as a ‘young Afrikaner’ and the anxiety experienced in contemporary ‘Afrikaner’ culture.

Research and work carried out prior to the ‘final’ work of art to be viewed in the gallery; the traces and remains

of it, usually go unnoticed, as do the spaces in which these take place, privileged spaces of artist’s studios.

Her affinity to researching extensively prior, during and after a work was developed during the producing of this

work into merely more than just ‘portfolio work’. The result; process rendered visible.

She especially enjoys other disciplines and regularly interacts with academics in other departments. She tries to

use all the university’s resources and in her BA Fine Arts final year regularly visited the Departments of

Entomology and Zoology, Botany and the Health Sciences.

Besides architecture and biology, she is very interested in media: Internet imagery, graphic design, advertising,

printing, packaging and typography. She creates ads and logos on the side. She grew up with Photoshop and

CMYK. Her experience in the fields of design and publication makes her sensitive to traditions within both

digital and printmedia. She has worked at MGI as drawing lecturer to graphic design students for three months

in 2015. She is also a devoted collector of both good and bad, digital and concrete design, for example; menus,

posters, business cards and abortion flyers.

She also keeps busy where art is engaging and accessible to the public; she is am a member of the Curtain Film

Club on the University campus, and the Fractal Committee of Oliewenhuis Art Museum. She has also worked

under Angela de Jesus, curator of the galleries on campus, for the PIKO/PIAD (Programme for Innovation and

Arts Development) at the Vrystaat Kunstefees where she was project co-ordinator for Sethembile Msezane’s

performance Love in the time of Afrophobia (2015).

In five years she plans to have completed her Masters in Fine Arts, taken part in a residency and helped promote

the arts in and from Bloemfontein. As an artist born and raised in Bloemfontein, the environment remains

challenging in terms of exposure and opportunities. It does however, force an artist to remain responsible for

themselves in order to succeed.



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Name: Johandi du Plessis


City: Free State