Daniëlle Pretorius

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Daniëlle Pretorius moved from Richards Bay to Bloemfontein in 2014, the year in which she started her studies in BA Fine Arts at the University of the Free State. In 2017 Pretorius was asked to participate in the group exhibition, A stream of consciousness at the Liebrecht Gallery in Somerset West and in 2017 her work was chosen by the Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition to appear in the Phatshoane Henney Attorneys calendar for 2018. During the last years of her studies, she majored in painting and photography under the supervision of Janine Allen- Spies and received her degree with distinction in 2018. In 2018 and 2019, Pretorius exhibited in group exhibitions at Galerie on Leviseur. In those years she also participated in Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition and her work was chosen to be exhibited in both those years. In 2019 her work was exhibited as part of a group exhibition - Betwixt and Between - where FSAC members’ artworks were exhibited during the Free State Arts Festival in the Scaena. The same exhibition - Betwixt and Between – travelled to Johannesburg where it was exhibited at Gallery2.

The majority of Pretorius' artworks revolve around the relationships she has with the environments/landscapes in which she finds herself; considering herself a geomancer -someone interested in scatterings of pebbles, dust, sand grains or seeds on the earth and interpreting their shape and position in order to discover the visionary/imaginary therein. She is very interested in the different appearances of landscapes and how they change with each new gaze - the changing colours, textures and layers of sand and rock shaped by time and weather. In her paintings Pretorius tries to recreate these processes that shape the land into an artistic process. By translating these processes that form the landscape into an artistic process, she tries to recreate her experience of the places she has visited; and by then painting it, she attempts to preserve the place, knowing it will soon change. Related to the artist’s exploration of the environment is her new series of paintings of flowers, which collectively constructs “floralscapes”. Thematically the series of artworks explore ideas associated with the still life genre (e.g. vanitas), femininity, sexuality and the artificiality of cut flowers (through which the artist constructs imaginative, sensual and exotic environments to inhabit). The artworks are also deeply personal. They become a diary which reflects aspects and stages of her life.