Cecilia Maartens

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Cecilia Maartens was born in 1956 in Ermelo, South Africa, and has been living in Bloemfontein since 1988. Maartens was informally tutored in visual art practice by Joy Rousseau, artist and former lecturer in Visual Arts at the University of Potchefstroom; Johan Fourie, painting lecturer Motheo Technical College; the late Werner Wiid, former Head of the Arts Department at the Bloemfontein College of Education; and attended MarianDeNard’s art school for a year. She obtained a Baccalaureus Artium (UNISA) in 1981, BA (Hons.) Psychology (UFS) in 2004, and the Advanced University Diploma in Visual Arts (UNISA) in 2011.

Maartens practised traditional artmaking from 1986 until 2010, when she enrolled at UNISA for the Advanced University Diploma in Visual Arts, to develop her skills pertaining to conceptual artmaking. Resigning in October 2015 after 35 years of employment (as State Accountant for half that time), Maartens wished to devote her full attention to her art studies. She completed the Master’s degree in Visual Arts at the University of the Free State in 2019 with distinction.

Maartens was selected as a finalist (2017 and 2018) in the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition presented annually in collaboration with the Association of Arts Pretoria. The oil painting Remembering, forgetting and imagining (2017) and nine-piece acrylic painting Intensities (2018) were included in the respective catalogues. She was also a finalist and merit award winner of Sasol New Signatures 2019 with the installation A presentiment (2018).

Additionally, she was selected for three consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) as finalist for the Phatshoane Henney New Breed competition and the following artworks were concurrently part of the relevant group exhibitions: Decalcomania - a traced memory (2016), Innere Klänge #1and #2 (2017) as well as Waiting for the next move (2017), Feelings#1-#4 (2018) and Bequeathed memory #1 and #2 (2019). Two commissioned 20 x 20 cm paintings and the oil painting Waiting for the next move are included in Phatshoane Henney’s private art collection.

Maartens exhibited the turning swing sculpture Passage of time (2019), (wood, aluminium, Perspex - dimensions 250 x250 x 250 cm) as part of the SculptX 2019 art fair curated by Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg. Partook in FSAC group exhibitions at Gallery 2, Johannesburg in 2019 and 2021. The triptych, Exulansis (2020) (oil paintings 40 x 40 cm each), has been exhibited in the Jan Rupert art centre, Graaff-Reinet, from March 2021 until 5 September 2021. The sculpture To fold and unfold (2020), comprising a labyrinth (440 x 440 cm) built with hand-cast cement stones, and an embroidery piece The ugly duckling (2019) are featuring in the Stegmann gallery (UFS) from 18 August – 17 September 2021 as part of the group exhibition Folds and faults.