ABOUT CHANTAL COETZEE
My journey has taken me on many paths over 4 decades, including those of curator and gallery owner, to my happy place that I’m in now… working fulltime in my studio in Woodstock.
Human beings, and humanity, have always fascinated me. My work focuses on our spiritual magnificence as well as our foibles and follies, with a heart-lens of compassion and humour. We make distinctions that alienate and divide us. We define differences of nation, race, religion and gender, to name but a few, and it’s absurd! Then in our lucid moments we remember that we’re all souls living a human existence, all with purpose and the beauty of divinity within us.
This is why I’m drawn to the genre of portraiture… to celebrate the human predicament, to highlight the absurdity of our distinctions, to worship that essence of the Creator inside each of us.
In 1987 I obtained my degree in Fine Art from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Thereafter I indulged in creating art installations in The Netherlands for a couple of years.
Returning to Cape Town in 1992, I was disheartened by the lack of resources and support for artists of all disciplines. I became a founder member of PAVAN, The Performing and Visual Arts Network.
In the three decades since, together with my business partner Sharon Peers, I have co-founded both The Seeff Gallery and 3RD i GALLERY, where we curated countless art exhibitions, promoting emerging as well as established artists from South Africa and abroad.
As resident artist at 3RD i GALLERY, I was fortunate to be awarded many prestigious commissions. My paintings hang in numerous restaurants and hotels in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Umhlanga as well as business institutions across the country. I’ve participated in countless groups shows and held two solo exhibitions. A highlight was being invited to exhibit in Mälmo, Sweden, as one of four women artists in a show entitled Under Vatten, which translates as Under Water.
My next solo show opens in September 2022, at 3RD i GALLERY. The show is titled “A Monstrous Regiment of Women” which flips the bird at John Knox, a leader of the Scottish Reformation. (born c. 1514) He wrote a polemical work, “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women”, published in 1558. It was an attack against female monarchs, in particular the ruler of Scotland at that time, Mary, Queen of Scots. Knox argued that a woman on a throne is an aberration contrary to the Bible.
This exhibition showcases but 6 of the multitude of African Queens who have ruled their nations with skill and success. Some were military strategists that expanded borders, some fought off colonialists, others vanquished slave traders. All protected their people with superb leadership and relentless stamina.