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About The Artist

Artist Photo

Transformation of the found

In the past few years I have been producing art works in which I incorporate found objects images, junk materials - objects inherited, bought, picked up. The desire to work with these materials, their shapes and textures, coupled with the images, memories and sentiments that they evoke serve as the starting point of the art making process.

In a solo exhibition held at the African Window Museum in May 1998 (the practical component of a Master's degree study at the Technikon Pretoria), war and soldier images were conspicuous. The soldier is a metaphor for the artist, who uses his personal memories, history and survival skills in the art making process. The war theme is also a tool through which personal demons could be exorcised: during the 1980's I worked as an artist in the shows and exhibitions section of the then SADF, where I was exposed to a lot of visual material pertaining to the defense force, which I had to exhibit for propaganda purposes, along with posters and pamphlets designed by a team of artists. Some of these images where re-contextualized in art works in an ironic comment on my previous activities, also on the entire system, for example in the work 'Final Inspection' (1997). In this work a collage of fragmented war images is painted and pasted on to my old army coat. The coat is thus completely transformed into a landscape of war. The coat is something personal and individual, which also serves to transform the civilian human being into the soldier, where a new collective identity is assumed. There is a play between the private and the public role, which is sustained in other works. In this work there is also a 'war' between the tactile, concrete quality of the coat and the 'illusionism' of the images on it.

This series of works culminated in four final sculptures in which the war theme is still prevalent but the images have become universal. The works are stripped of the excess of collaged images and layers of materials of the previous series and each sculpture projects one essential image. To me, these works really speak of 'the end of the world as we know it', because they consist of banal household structures and objects; a chair and jacket, an ironing board with a man's shirt, a clothes horse with ironed trousers, a made-up soldier's bed (ready for inspection) - but these objects are completely covered in rusted tins picked up on junk heaps. Thus they take on an archaeological quality and become relics of a way of life, a civilization degenerated and fossilized though time and rust. The 'open' quality of the sculpture constructions also refers to formal innovation on the terrain of sculpture in this century.

The clothes are those of a civilian man, or a soldier (the 'rusted' clothes might evoke the idea of an end of the era of male dominance), but ironically they are in a domestic context, they were handled, prepared (ironed, folded) which suggests feminine domestic activity. The irony is sustained further by the idea of the macho soldier who also has to perform these domestic tasks as part of army life.

Furthermore, the 'feminine' material, the clothes, the cotton cloth, woolen blankets, towels, soap are 'appropriated' by the male artist, who transforms these materials into rusted tin through which they are 'masculinized'. The tin shirt and trousers also suggest an association with the armoured clothing of the medieval soldier knight. These works do not only comment on that which has come to rest, but hint at the conception of something new.

The tin cans are ordinarily used for preservation. The fragile rusted tins in these works become metaphors for waste, loss and consumerism. Their use may be seen as an attempt to "preserve" something transient and vulnerable. The reference to recycling raises an important focus of our time - that of healing and the re-establishment of cyclical rhythm. Ecological issues pertinent to the last century were dragged along as baggage into the new millennium.

The four works, 'Soldier's Bed', 'Ironing Board', 'Clothes Horse' and 'Chair and Jacket', became part of the healing process quite literally, when they were selected by the Angolan - born artist and curator, Fernando Alvim, for a touring exhibition of art works entitled 'Memórias Intimas Marcas' (traces of intimate memory) that deals with the South African/Angolan War. In this exhibition , Angolan, Cuban and South African artists combine their efforts. The focus on issues of war serves as an attempt at healing the former conflict through pointing at history, but also healing on a personal level, through art and co-operation. The selection of works has already been exhibited once in South Africa in 1998 (Pretoria), and also in Lisbon, Portugal (October 1998). It moved on to the Mukha Museum in Antwerp, Belgium in Feb 2002 and is currently taken up in the Memórias Intimas Marcas collection.

Artist Biography

Jan van der Merwe has been a practising artist for the past 38 years (1977 – 2015). He has an extensive career as an art lecturer, body of art work and published academic articles. His work is also featured as source material for secondary and tertiary students.

From 1980 - 1988, Van der Merwe worked as an artist in various posts outside the academic field, e.g. at the State Theatre and at The Bureau of Heraldry. In 1989 he accepted a post as lecturer in the Department Entertainment Technology, TUT, where he lectured in drawing and décor design. During this time he completed a MTech in Fine Art and was promoted to senior lecturer. In 2004 he accepted a post as senior lecturer in the Department of Fine and Applied Art and became study leader for Sculpture. Since 2008 he has been study leader for Painting 2 and 3 as well as for the practical component of Fine Art 4. He has also been co-supervisor for Master’s degree students for the past few years, overseeing the practical component of these studies.

He has also been appointed as external examiner at the art departments of UNISA and the universities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Free State and has acted as judge at art competitions, some of them national competitions. Since 2002, he has been involved in workshops for mentally handicapped artists in Belgium and in South Africa.

Since 1977 he has been a practising artist, constantly producing art work and taking part in exhibitions. During this time He has had 17 solo exhibitions, taken part in approximately 138 national group exhibitions and in 19 international group exhibitions, approximately 174 in total. He has also been the recipient of various awards or have been nominated for awards, pertaining to both my career as lecturer and artist.

Artist CV

1958: Born in Virginia, Free State, South Africa.

1976: Employed by SA Railways.

1980 - 1988: Employed by the South African defense force, PACT and Bureau of Heraldry

1989-2001: Lecturer in decor painting at the Department Entertainment Technology, Arts Faculty, Technikon Pretoria.

1999:Senior Lecturer, Arts Faculty Technikon, Pretoria

2002 - 2007: Study leader, Sculpture Department, Arts Faculty, Technikon Pretoria

2004: Senior Lecturer Department Art Faculty Tshwane University of Technology

2008 - current: Study leader, Painting and 4th year practical course, Art faculty, TUT


1975: Matriculated at Ladysmith High School, KwaZulu Natal.

1984: National Diploma, Fine Art (distinction in painting ).

1986: National Higher Diploma, Fine Art, (Technikon Pretoria).

1992: Fine Art IV - Practical (UNISA, Pretoria).

1999: Master's degree in Technology, Fine Art, with distinction, (Tecnikon Pretoria).
Promoter: Mr Koos van der Watt (UNISA).
Theme: 'Transformation of the found'.



  • Honourary Colours, international recognition, Technikon Pretoria


  • Newsmaker of the Year, Technikon Pretoria


  • Rector’s Award, Technikon Pretoria


  • Trophy for service from 1989 – 2001, Department Entertainment Technology, Technikon Pretoria
  • Merit Prize, Newsmaker of the Year, Technikon Pretoria


  • Long Service Award, in recognition of 15 years at TUT


  • TUT Excellence Award, Lecturer of the year, Faculty of the Arts
  • Long Service Award, in recognition of 20 years at TUT


  • Long Service Award, in recognition of 25 years at TUT



  • New Signatures, SA Association of Arts, Pretoria. First Prize: Mixed Media; Merit Prize: Painting
  • First Prize: Mixed Media (Van Schaik Award).
  • Merit Prize: painting (Arts Association).


  • Kempton park/Tembisa Fine Art Award. Awarded second prize


  • Sasol Scifest 99, first prize, trip to Paris, sponsored by the French Embassy, Institute for Research Development , Grahamstown. Competition theme: Art and Technology


  • Kemptonpark/Tembisa Fine Art Award, second prize


  • Chief Festival Artist, Hadeda Art Festival, Tzaneen


  • Chief Festival Artist, Aardklop National Arts Festival, Potchefstroom
  • IOC Olympic Art Competition, National Winner, sculpture category, paid attendance at the Senior Delphic Games 2005


  • Olympic Sport and Art Contest, International Fourth Prize, sculpture category, diploma of recognition, prize-winning entry exhibited at the Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland and then in Athens for display during the Olympic Games, August 2004


  • Represented South Africa as installation artist during the 2nd International Delphic Games held in the city Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Received a special International Delphic Award during this event for “Outstanding presentation in the discipline of art installation”
  • Recipient of the national annual Helgaard Steyn Award, awarded “ for outstanding sculpture”, for the installation Showcase in the permanent collection of the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein


  • Recipient of the Ampersand Award that is administered by the Ampersand Foundation – two month residency in New York


  • Fiësta 2014. Best achievement visual art (Time and Space –exhibition Oliewenhuis Art Museum)
  • Honourary medallion for Visual Art (Installation Art), Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns



  • Jakkals Award - Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (DeKat).
  • Newsmaker of the Year - Technikon Pretoria.
  • FNB Vita Awards 2001
  • Top 10 Aardklop, Potchefstroom, (Spat newsletter)

    2002: Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, SASOL-Kanna for Visual Arts

    2003: Festival Artist - Aardklop 2003 - Potchefstroom

    2008: Semi – finalist, Sasol Wax Art Competition 2008.

    2009: Nomination by Tshwane University of technology. National Excellence in teaching and Learning Awards 2009


    1998: First solo exhibition at African Window Museum (practical component of M.Tech studies in April).

    2000: 'Bagged Baggage', Millennium Gallery, Pretoria, (Solo Exhibition).

    2001: "Bagasie/Baggage" solo exhibition, Aardklop 2001, Potchefstroom. Invited by Potchefstroom University.


  • Solo exhibition as part of the main festival, Hadeda Kunstefees, Tzaneen.
  • Solo Exhibition, National Art Museum, Bloemfontein. Curator: Sharon Crampton

    2004 Invited to have Solo Exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, Nov 2004

    2005 'Unknown' Solo Exhibition at Sanlam Art Gallery, Cape Town, 1 February - 24 March. Invited by Sanlam curator Stefan Hundt

    2006: 'The Archaeology of Time' Retrospective Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum, 28 June - 3 December 2006

    2008: Solo exhibition entitled 'It’s cold Outside' – selected installations from 1999 to 2008, iart gallery (Investment Art), Cape Town, 16 July - 31 October 2008.

    2009 - 2010: 'Ontwortel/Uprooted' Solo exhibition, University of Johannesburg Art Gallery,11 November 2009 – January 2010.


    • Solo Exhibition entitled 'Time and Space', retrospective of the previous decade, at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein, 9 July – 18 August. The exhibition was visited by 14690 viewers.
    • Solo Exhibition, 'Time and Space' at the Kyknet-Scaena-Foyer, during the Vryfees on the campus of the University of the Free State, 9 – 14 July.


    1977 - 1979: Student Exhibition. Technikon Pretoria

    1981: New Signatures Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Pretoria, Northern Transvaal.

    1983: The Bata International Art Competition, SA Association of Arts, Durban.

    1986: Reach Out '86 Exhibition - Pretoria Art Museum
    Student Exhibition, Technikon Pretoria.
    New Signatures Exhibition, SA Association of Pretoria.
    Class of '79 Exhibition, Ivan Solomon Gallery, Pretoria.


  • Volkskas Atelier '87.
  • SA Association of Pretoria, one work selected for final exhibition.
  • Work represented in the exhibition of the Bureau of Heraldry, Pretoria Art Museum.
  • Work selected for Transkom Exhibition at RAU.
  • Work represented by comprehensive exhibition of the Developments Bank, Sandton, Johannesburg.

    1988: 'Hi-Tech' SAAA-Durban.

    1990: Volkskas Atelier '90 - two works selected for exhibition.

    1991: Volkskas Atelier '91 - one work selected for exhibition.

    1992: Volkskas Atelier '92 - one work selected for exhibition.

    1994: Two works selected for exhibition of contemporary South African Art, Pretoria Art Museum.


  • Pretoria Technikon Lecturers' and Students: Schweikerdt Art Centre and Gallery and Pietersburg-Ntvl.
  • Two works - Mmabatho Culture Centre.
  • Centurion Civic Gallery : represented in a group exhibition

    1996: Pretoria Technikon Lecturers : Centurion Gallery.


  • Pretoria Technikon Lecturers : Centurion Gallery.
  • Kempton Park Tembisa Fine Arts in South Africa - one work selected


  • June: Selected work for international exhibition 'Memórias Intimas Marcas' in African Museum. The exhibition opened in October in Lisbon
  • Technikon Pretoria, Student and Lecturers Exhibition: African Window.
  • '98 - Arts Faculty - 'Art Show 98'.
  • PPC Cement Competition - SA Association of Art Pretoria - one art work

    1999: Technikon Pretoria, Students and Lecturers Exhibition: African Window '99


  • Memórias Intimas Marcas - Mukha Museum - Antwerp, Belgium.
  • 'Skrapnel' Exhibition dealing with the Anglo Boer War, curated by Koos van der Watt (UNISA); Ladysmith - KwaZulu Natal and Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.
  • April - 'Artichoke' Exhibition in Johannesburg, invited by Bie Venter, Janette Ginslov, Kathryn Smith.
  • 'Magic Moments', The Civic Gallery, Jhb (International Exhibition).
    Curator: Minnette Vari
  • 'Trapped Reflections' - Curator: Koos van der Watt (UNISA).
    September, African Window Museum, Pretoria
  • UNISA Exhibitions, (August and September-October 2000, Curator: Frieda Hattingh.
  • "Weft and Warp" Civic Gallery Johannesburg


  • Installation "Waiting" exhibited by Pretoria Art Museum as part of their new acquisitions
  • "No I want my Mom" exhibited by Unisa Art Gallery as part of their new acquisitions
  • Installation "Skrapnel" Potchefstroom University
  • Presented a workshop in Belgium at Feniks Unite for mentally disabled artists
  • Exhibition "Geef 'n drukkie" Feniks Unite, Belgium
  • SASOL collection exhibition, Johannesburg. 2001 (one work - "Uitverkoping")


  • "Skrapnel" Installation at the Voortekker monument, Pretoria. (the exhibition forms part of the closing Anglo-Boer-War Centenary commemorations)
  • "Guests"-Installation exhibition in Cape Town as part of the Sanlam collection.
  • "Rooi Tapyt/Red Carpet" Installation exhibited at the main festival, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees.
  • Group Exhibition (Mother's Day) Minds i Art Space, Pretoria
  • Installation "Wag/Waiting", Pretoria Kunsmuseum, exhibition as part of the Pretoria Art Museum Collection
  • Six artworks selected to form part of TV production, Isidingo, SABC 3
  • World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, Ubuntu Village
  • Installation in collaboration with Mission Antarctica
  • Installation in collaboration with Gozololo Aids orphan shelter
  • People, Planet and Prosperity Exhibition. Art Association, Pretoria
  • People, Planet and Prosperity Exhibition. Art Association, Johannesburg
  • Digital Art Exhibition:The Spacings, UNISA Art Gallery. Curators: Elfriede Dreyer, Anja Krajewska & Carine Zaayman
  • Group Exhibition, Minds i Art Space. Theme: Eclipse. Sponsored by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology.


  • Lecturers' Exhibition, Arts Faculty, Technikon, Pretoria, University of Pretoria Art Gallery
  • "Guests" - Installation exhibition in Cape Town as part of the Sanlam Art Collection. Curator Stefan Hunt. (Feb - March 2003)
  • "Baggage" - Installation Capital Park, Pretoria. (Apr 2003)
  • Invited by Alliance Francaise Pretoria to take part in a group exhibition with Nucleo do Art (Mozambique) at the Pretoria Art Museum, November 2003
  • Exhibition Gordart Gallery, Johannesburg - 'Sunday Suit' - Insallation Nov/Dec 2003
  • 'Bagged Baggage' - Installation acquired and exhibited, permanent collection, Contemporary Art Gallery, Graskop.


  • Pretoria Art Museum, Jan/Feb 2004 Installations 'Waiting', 'Bullet Proof Jacket', 'Cleaning Kit, 'Artefacts'
  • ArtCoZa Gallery, Johannesburg, Feb 2004. Installations 'Cleaning kit', 'Bullet Proof Jacket'.
  • Breytenbach Theatre, Feb 2004 - 'Artefacts'
  • Art Gallery, University of Pretoria - 'Freedom of Expression through sculpture' - exhibition installation: 'Kispak'
  • 'Screen Saviour' and 'Star Grazer' acquired and exhibited, permanent collection, Contemporary Art Gallery, Graskop, March 2004
  • 'Show Case' acquired and exhibited as part of permanent collection, Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein, April 2004.
  • 'Fusion Through Art' exhibition at the National Cultural History Museum, Pretoria 'Bliksoldaat', mixed media.
  • Invited to hold workshops & exhibition, Feniks Institute, Belgium, June 2004.
  • Invited by 'curator Wendy Ross to take part in Waste Art project, June 2004
  • Godart Gallery, One work exhibited 'Off the Record' exhibition - 'Moon River Eclipse', March 2004


  • 'Reconciliation', a group exhibition as part of the Arts and Reconciliation Festival hosted by the University of Pretoria, 14 March - 20 March, curator Elfriede Dreyer. Installations: 'Baggage Arrival' and 'Moth and Rust'exhibited as part of a group exhibition.
  • 'Sasol-Art @ Work' Exhibition at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival 2005. One work, 'Uitverkoping' as part of the Sasol Collection.
  • 'The Human Condition' Group exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum. Installation: 'Waiting'as part of the permanent collection, June - December 2005
  • The Graskop Hotel Gallery, curator Harrie Siertsema, group exhibition of selected installations, May - July 2005.
  • 'Art from two Metropoles' Group exhibition, Fried Contemporary Art Gallery, Pretoria. Curator Elfriede Dreyer. Installation: 'Water and Rust', 30 July - 19 August 2005.
  • Aardklop Art Festival 2005, Potchefstroom, invited by dr John Botha, University of Nort West, 4 installations exhibition as part of the Helgaard Steyn Prize, 26 September - 21 October 2005
  • Group exhibition, Danie de Jager Art Museum, Klerksdorp, 8 - 18 November 2005
  • International project: "Affection, Stolen Time". 730 artists resident in different cities and continents (Africa, Europe and America) were invited to take part. The exhibition started in Bahia, Brazil at the Goethe Institute and also traveled to Spain, Germany, France and Africa in 200. Curators Viga Gordhilo and Suzana Azevedo.


  • Invited by Feniks Unite and with, Flanders, Belgium to give a workshop and have an exhibition with mentally handicapped artists entitled Tactiel- Jassen at Harelbeke.
  • Installation: 'Eclipse' permanently installed in gallery for contemporary art in Richmond owned by Harrie Siertsema
  • Took part in a group exhibition entitled 'Lost' at the Fried Contemporary Art Gallery in Pretoria from 9 to 30 June 2007
  • Invited by curator Harrie Siertsema to take part in a group exhibition called 'Inniebos' as part of the Inniebos Arts Festival, Nelspruit, 27 June to 1 July 2007. The exhibition traveled to Graskop
  • Invited by Feniks Unite (Belgium) to give a workshop for mentally disabled artists at the Reamogetswe Centre in Bela Bela from 9 to 13 July 2007
  • Work exhibited at Aardklop Arts Festival as part of an overview show of festival artists of the past ten years, Potchefstroom, 24 to 29 September.
  • Took part in an exhibition at Aardklop Arts Festival dealing with work done by mentally handicapped artists during workshops in Belgium and in Bela Bela
  • Took part in an exhibition curated by Ian Marley called 'Creative Creatures' during the Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom
  • Took part in a group exhibition 'Rendezvous': Focus Sculpture, Morningside, Johannesburg, December 2007. The work will be exhibited in Potchefstroom in 2008.
  • Took part in a group exhibition organized by MAP at the gallery for contemporary art in Richmond owned by Harrie Siertsema.
  • Took part in a group exhibition entitled 'Contemporary Visions of South Africa': an exhibition of visual art by artists from Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, Pretoria Art Museum, 3 November – 22 December 2007.
  • Invited to work with a group of persons with an intellectual handicap in Belgium belonging to an organization called Onze Nieuwe Toekomst on an installation entitled 'Wereldreizigers' in the Kleurlaboratorium, S. M. A. K. Museum in Gent. 3 – 9 December 2007


  • Two installations (Guests, 2000 and Unknown, 2004) included in the exhibition entitled Decade (highlights from 10 years of collecting for the Sanlam art collection): Sanlam Art Gallery , Belville (22 July 2008 – 16 Jan 2009), IArt Gallery, Cape Town (27 Feb – 12 March 2009), Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein (21 Apr – 28 May 2009), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Gallery, Port Elisabeth ( 4 June - !9 July 2009), George Museum, Durban Art Gallery (9 Nov – 25 January 2010). Curator: Stefan Hundt.
  • Group exhibition: 'Intervention', UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria, curator: Koos van der Watt, 13 September – 17 October 2008


  • Group Exhibition, IArt Gallery, Cape Town, Joburg Art Fair 2009, Sandton Convention Centre, 2 – 5 April 2009 (installation: Uitverkoping/Sale)
  • Group exhibition: 'Dystopia', UNISA Art Gallery Pretoria (23 May – 30 June 2009), Museum Africa, Johannesburg (8 Oct – 15 Nov 2009), Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein (10 June – 8 Aug 2010), Jan Colle Galery, Gent België (17 Oct – 21 Nov 2010). Curator; Elfriede Dreyer.
  • Group Exhibition: 'Woordpoort', University of Pretoria (Sept 2009). Curator: Hardus Koekemoer


  • Artists’ books group exhibition: 'Transgressions and Boundaries of the Page', University of Stellenbosch , Woordfees. The exhibition toured to the Universities of North West and Johannesburg in 2010. Curators: Franci Greyling, Ian Marley, 1 – 6 March 2010
  • Group exhibition: 'Doodles', Trent Gallery, Pretoria, 4 – 18 April 2010.
  • Group exhibition: Johannesburg Art Fair 2010, iart Gallery, Cape Town, April 2010
  • Group exhibition: 'The Mechanics and Mysteries of Perception', iart Gallery, Cape Town, June/July 2010
  • Group exhibition: 'Games People Play', Fried Contemporary, Pretoria. Curator: Elfriede Dreyer, 7 June – 18 July 2010.
  • Group exhibition: 'Dystopia', Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein. Curators: Elfriede Dreyer, Jacob Lebeko, 10 June 2010 – 8 Aug 2010.
  • Group exhibition: 53 Self Portraits, Trent Gallery, Pretoria, 19 June – 1 July 2010.
  • Group exhibition: 'Art to save the Environment', Trent Gallery, Pretoria. Curators: Stephen and Louis Marcus Finn, 2 – 15 September 2010.
  • Group exhibition: 'Remastered', Trent Gallery, Pretoria. Curator: Erica Fraser, 17 – 30 September 2010
  • Group exhibition: 'Origine du Monde', Aardklop National Arts Festival, Potchefstroom. Curator: Paul Boulitreau, 27 September – 20 October.
  • Group exhibition: 'Mad Art Moments', iart gallery, Cape Town, 15 October – 13 November 2010
  • Group exhibition: 'Rhino Poaching Awareness Project', The National Zoological Gardens, Pretoria with the Trent Gallery, 28 November 2010 – 30 January 2011 . The exhibition tours to Brooklyn Art Gallery, Pretoria from 1 February – 15 March 2011.


  • 11 may 2011 – 15 June 2011
    Group exhibition: 'Modern Art Projects (Map)', University of Johannesburg Art Gallery. Curators: Harrie Siertsema, Abrie Fourie
  • First international land art event entitled: 'Site_Specific', Plettenberg Bay, 22 – 29 May. Thirteen artists on invitation, curated by Strijdom van der Merwe and Annie Strydom.


  • Group exhibition, 'Selected South African Sculptors' at the William Humphreys Art Museum, Kimberley, June/July.
  • Group Exhibition, 'Re-envisioning the Anglo-Boer War', Johannes Stegman Art Gallery, University of the Free State, 8 July – 8 August.


    Tshwane University of Technology; Memórias Intimas Marcas Collection, Belgium; Pretoria Art Museum; UNISA; National Cultural History Museum, Pretoria; SASOL; Potchefstroom University; Feniks-Unite, Belgium; SANLAM; ABSA Bank; Harrie Siertsema collection; Oliewenhuis National Art Museum, Bloemfontein; Shamwari Townhouse, Port Elizabeth; University of Johannesburg; SA High Commission, Maseru, Lesotho; George and Joan Hornig collection, New York; Anglo Boer War Museum and Womens’ Memorial, Bloemfontein; University of Pretoria; University of the Free State; University of Cape Town, Faculty of Engineering; Several private collections


  • van der Merwe, J L. 1986. “Spel as Kuns” Department Fine Art, Technikon Pretoria, unpublished dissertation national Higher Diploma
  • van der Merwe, J L. 1999. “Transformasie van die gevonde in kontemporêre konteks” , Department Fine and Applied Art , Technikon Pretoria, unpublished MTech dissetation
  • van der Merwe, J L. 2001. “Transformasie van die gevonde: ’n Alchemiese proses”, Image and Text: a journal for design, number 9, 2000/01.
  • van der Watt, K. 2005. “Jan van der Merwe and the Patina of Time, De Arte, Unisa
  • Beyers,C. 2006. “Like poetry for Revolution – a Perspective on Art and Expression in Response Globalisation”, unpublished master’s degree dissertation , University of Stellenbosch, The exhibition “The archaeology of time” in the Pretoria Art Museum was one of the main sources of this study
  • Morris, W. 2006. “Memórias Intimas Marcas”, paper delivered at the Second Annual graduate Symposium on Modern and Contemporary art , Museum of Modern Art, New York, April 2006
  • Kruger R. 2008. “No outsiders here – Four collaborative art projects with South African and Belgian mentally limited artists” paper delivered at the Fourth International Conference of the Arts, Venice, Italy, 28 – 31 July 2008
  • Botha J R. 2009. “Eyeing the creatures: an exploration of mirth as a personal function of art”, Literator, Vol 3 no 1 April 2009
  • Kruger, R and van der Merwe, J L . 2011. “Liminality, Absence and Silence in the installations of Jan van der Merwe”, Image and Text, issue 17
  • Scheffer, A and van der Merwe, J L. 2014. “Ontwortel/Uprooted: Jan van der Merwe’s Archival Practise” accepted for publication in the SAJAII, 2014



  • Leoné van Niekerk.“ Van der Merwe gee roes nuwe betekenis”,Beeld: 27 April.
  • Lise van der Watt “Transformation of the Found”,Pretoria News: 28 April.
  • Tsotsotso Maseipati, “Artistic Achievements”,Sunday Times 21 June.
  • Leoné van Niekerk. “SA, Angolese soldaat toerallig in gesprek”,Beeld: 1 July.
  • Editors: Fernando Alvim and Clive Kellner.“Deflagration orDifumbe”, Marcas News, p.20,3rd edition: Johannesburg.
  • Hennelie Abouchabki, “Nuusmaker van die Jaar”.Newsletter: Department of Entertainment Technology,Technikon Pretoria,October.


  • Paula Thistleton, “Art in a Can”, Scicue, Rhodes Journalism andMedia Studies,March.
  • (author unknown),“Scifest Competition features poetic junk”,Daily Despatch: 11 March.
  • Phumzile Ngwezi. “Rusty tin artist wins trip to Paris”,Pretoria News: 13 April.
  • (author unknown),“Rusty bits and pieces become modern art”,Forum, Official Journal of Technikon Pretoria, Vol.15. September.
  • Hennelie Abouchabki.“Nuusmaker van die jaar”, Newsletter,Department of Entertainment Technology,TechnikonPretoria,September.
  • Barrie Hough.“Kuns uit Rommel”, Rapport, Tydskrif: 10 October.


  • Laetitia Pople.“Kempton Park / Tembisa-kunsprys” Beeld, 4 July.
  • Hennelie Abouchabki.“Jan van der Merwe, no introduction necessary”, Newsletter, Department o Entertainment Technology Technikon. Pretoria,September.
  • Fransi Phillips.“World of Wonder and Nostalgia”, Pretoria News, 7 September.
  • A Botha.“Oudskoliere”, Ladysmith High School year Book.


  • Geraldine Fröhling.“Poetic Junk”, Pretoria News, 29 May.
  • (author unknown).“Van Roes tot Roem”, Fan, messenger for students and staff, vol.3,no. 7,September.
  • Hennelie Abouchabki .“Jan van der Merwe ” , Newsletter, Department of Entertainment Technology,Technikon Pretori a , September.
  • Geraldine Fröhling.“Bringing the message of Feniks to SA”. Pretoria News, 18 September.
  • Clive Kellner. “The Archaeology of Time”, FNB Vita Art Prize,NSA Gallery, Glenwood,Durban.
  • Theo Kleynhans.“Want ons weet siele roes nie”, Spat, Feeskoerant Aardklop Kunstefees, Potchefstroom, 3 October.
  • Haddad Viljoen.“Komplekse herwinnings gryp aan die hart”, Spat, Feeskoerant Aardklop Kunstefees, Potchefstroom,4 October.
  • Stephanie Nieuwoudt.“Bagasie Arriveer baie relevant”, Beeld, 4 October.
  • Villa de Ruyter. “New challenge for award-winning artist”, Forum,Technikon Pretoria, vol.18,no. 2, November.


  • Haddad Viljoen.“ Tapyt bekyk mag”, Krit, Feeskoerant Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, 5 April.
  • Braam Muller. “Eerste uitstalling in museum se reservoir”,Volksblad, 12 October.
  • Andrelise Meiring.“Jou eie bagasie op hierdie rooi tapyt te sien”,Volksblad, 12 October.
  • Gerrit Bester.“ Jan ’s art works adorn Isidingo set”, Fan, messenger for students and staff,Technikon Pretoria, vol. 4 n o. 6 , August .


  • Leoné van Niekerk.“Doringdraad wat denke prikkel”,Beeld, 27 May.
  • Gerrit Bester. “Jan’s visual poetry at Aardklop”, Fan, messenger forstudents and staff,Technikon Pretoria, vol.5,no. 5.
  • Laetitia Pople.“Installasiekunstenaar Jan van der Merwe”,Beeld, 23 September.
  • Robert Hodgins.“Die inhoud van lewens”, Aardklop Feesboek,Potchefstroom.
  • Lucia Burger.“Doringdraad”, Aardklop Feesboek, Potchefstroom.
  • Theo Kleynhans.“Roes rus nie”, Spat, Feeskoerant,Aardklop Kunstefees, Potchefstroom, 24 September.
  • Stephanie Nieuwoudt.“Die tyd roes mense maar soms so mooi” , Beeld, 24 September.
  • Leoné van Niekerk.“Sy werk prikkel denke”, Die Burger, 11 Junie.


  • Gerrit Bester. “Jan goes for gold at arts Olympic”,TUTor, Staff Journal of the Tshwane University of Technology, vol.1,no. 2, April.
  • Tsabeng Nthite. City artist to represent SA in Olympic ArtContest, Pretoria News, 6 May.
  • Keneilwe Tlhohle. “ TUT lecturer takes art to Olympics”, Rekord, 14 May.
  • Eagan Williamson.“Geroeste kunswerke skitter in kompetisie vir spele”, Beeld, 3 June.
  • Johanna van Eeden.“Dosent mik na Olimpiese eer”, Rapport, 13 June.
  • Gerrit Bester.“Jan’s art work displayed at OlympicGames”, TUTor, Staff Journal of the Tshwane University of Technology, vol.1,no. 3, June.
  • Luk Vandierendonck (ed). Infusie 2004, p46, Wit.h., Harelbeke, Belgium
  • Gerrit Bester.“Monument en Metafoor”, De Kat, Lente, p108.
  • Geraldine Fröhling. “Flying the Olympic Flag”, Pretoria News, 13 August.
  • Mick Raubenheimer. “The Phoenix in the Kitchen”, Rootz Africa, p78 – 80, vol.11.
  • Geraldine Fröhling.“Memories and Rust”, Pretoria News, 10 November.
  • Geraldine Fröhling.“What lies behind unknownscreens”, The Star, 11 November.
  • Cathryn Smith. “Pick of the Week”, Mail and Guardian, 12 November.
  • Michael Coulson. “Art”, Financial Mail, 26 November.
  • Bettie Lamprecht.“Roes-kuns nou in Goudstad”, Beeld, 18 November.
  • Ashley Johnson.“Art and Leasure”, Business Day,22 November.
  • Gerrit Bester. “Trolley triumphs over the Finish Line”, Rhythm, Vol. 1 no.212
  • Johan Myburg. “Visuele Kunste 2004: Al meer stemme en energieke demokrasie-viering”, Beeld Plus, 21 December


  • Koos van der Watt. “Jan van der Merwe and the patina of Time”, De Arte 72, Unisa
  • Neels Jackson.” Kunswerke om versoening te vier”, Beeld, 24 Maart
  • Skrywer onbekend. “Groot beeldhouprys oorhandig vir optelgoed – installasie, Die Burger, 4 Oktober en Die Volksblad, 5 Oktober
  • Skrywer onbekend. “Gesogte prys vir Jan se’ Showcase’ “, Beeld, 12 Oktober
  • Carla Lewis. “Roes laat hom nostalgies terugkeer na sy wortels”, Potch Kampus Beeld, 17 Oktober
  • Carla Lewis. “Roes van oorwinning smaak soet”, Potch Kampus Beeld, 24 Oktober
  • Johan Myburgh. “Die wêreld deur die oë van Jan van der Merwe”, Beeld, 25 Oktober
  • Esther Engelbrecht. “ ‘Vonds’ is aangrypend”, Beeld Plus, 1 November
  • Marlene Verhoef. “Beeldhouer ontvang prys” Profiel Kampusnuus Potch, no 65, November
  • Bettie Lamprecht and Wilhelm van Rensburg. “Topklas uitstallings – jaaroorsig”, Beeld Plus, 21 Desember
  • Cecile Loedolf en Stephan Hundt. “ Kunsversameling- hou hulle dop”, Finansies en Tegniek, 4 Mei
  • Cecile Loedolf en Stephan Hundt.”The ones to watch” Finance Week, 4 May
  • Gerrit Bester. ‘Jan explores reconciliation in art”, Rhythm, vol 2 no 1, July
  • 'Beeldspraak' - series, Beeld newspaper, 25 October 2005. The artwork "Vonds" is included and published as part of this project in Beeld Plus aiming to create a forum for discussion on visual art. Curator: Gordon Froud and Chris Diederiks. The work was exhibited and auctioned generating funds for the "Beeld Kinderfonds"


  • Malagosia Kuko. “Life through the centuries on display in city museum”, Pretoria News, Focus, 22 May
  • Christina van Rensburg. “Die Argeologie van Tyd – installasies deur Jan van der Merwe”, Kakkerlak, uitgawe 6,
  • Geraldine Fr?hling. “Unearthing the fragility of life”, The Star Tonight, 6 July and The Star Tonight, 21 September
  • Author Unknown. “Art events diary”, Elle Decoration Urban Issue, 2006
  • Johan Myburgh. “Van der Merwe bewaar met weerlose verganklikheid”, Beeld Plus, 28 Junie
  • Pieter du Toit. “Moet doen dinge”, Sarie, Junie
  • Miranthe Staden-Garbett. “Haunting study of time”, Pretoria News, 6 July
  • Hannelie Diedericks. “Dagboek”, Tuis, Julie
  • Anelia Blackie. “ ‘n Unieke uitstalling van die kunstenaar Jan van der Merwe” Rekord East, 7 July
  • Author unknown. “Archaeology of time”, The South African Art Times, July
  • Author unknown. “Jan flies solo in the Pretoria Art Museum, TUT Student Newsletter, Heika, vol3 no7, 19 July
  • Alita Vorster. “Jan van der Merwe se blik op die lewe”, Rapport Tydskrif, 23 Julie
  • Author unknown. “Argeologie van tyd- unieke kuns”, Zambi Kontreinuus, Julie
  • Lauren Anthony. “How art feeds the soul and senses”, Sunday Times, 30 July
  • Franci Cronje. “Monumente vir gewone mense”, Beeld Plus, 15 Augustus
  • Gerhard Uys. “Hy skep kuns uit ou oomblikke”, Tshwane Beeld, 27 September
  • Miranthe Staden-Garbett. “ Jan van der Merwe Pretoria Art Museum”, Art South Africa, vol 5.1 Spring
  • Theana Calitze. “Geroes kan bekoor”, Tshwane Beeld, 15 November
  • Sabrina Dean. “ SA Artists showcased at Pretoria Art Museum”, The Citizen, 24 November
  • Gerrit Bester. “The Archaeology of time”, Tutor TUT, vol 3 no 4
  • Author unknown. “Rusted elegance – Jan van der Merwe retrospective”, Art South Africa, vol 04, issue 04, winter


  • Dirk Oegema. “ Jan van der Merwe – argeologie van tyd”, Kakkerlak, uitgawe 7
  • Jaco Mostert. “Jan van der Merwe, a guru of the senses”, Centurion News, february
  • Gerhard Uys. “Kunsvaardigheid herleef in tydskrifontwerp”, Beeld Plus, 22 Februarie
  • Johan Myburgh. “Sanlam se kunsskatte help kuns bevorder”, Beeld Plus, 14 Maart
  • Willem Boshoff.” Objets Trouvés, Jan van der Merwe”, A Look Away, issue 4
  • Geraldine Fr?hling. “Jan loves found objects and he discovered a real gem”, Pretoria News Tonight, 14 June
  • Miranthe Staden-Garbett. “Getting lost in the art of it all”, Pretoria News Tonight, 14 June
  • Lizzie Bapela. “Center host art exhibition”, Limpopo Beat, July
  • Katinka Kempf. “Roest en Nostalgie”, Zuid-Afrika (Amsterdam), July/Aygust
  • Johan Myburgh. “Fees vir die oog op 10 dae, Arrdklop” Beeld Plus, 13 Augustus
  • Maryke Willemse. “Kunstenaars ontwikkel kreatiewe spiere”, North-west Independent, 24 – 29 September
  • Linda de Beer. “Verstandelike gestremdheid bind kunstenaars se werk”, Beeld, 26 September
  • Didier Peleman, Elizabeth de Schauwer en Yannick Spriet. “Interview met Jan van der Merwe”, De Krant van de Toekomst, België, 4 December
  • Johan Myburgh. 3-D kuns wat binne en buite speel”, Beeld Plus, 12 Desember


  • Veronica Wilkinson. “ Van der Merwe’s metal jacket”, The Good Weekend, Sunday, 7 September
  • Liza Grobler. “Visuele Kuns: ‘It’s cold outside’ – Jan van der Merwe in die iart Galery”, Die Burger, 1 October
  • Eunice Basson. “Absa versameling betrek die oog en intellek van die toeskouer”, Pomp


  • Author unknown. “Jan van der Merwe (1958 -)”, Konteks, Jan/Feb
  • Elretha Brits. “Gaan kyk die kuns – daar is iets vir almal”, Die Volksblad, 23 April
  • Bettie Lamprecht. “Verrassingskos vir gees”, Beeld Plus, 7 April
  • Author unknown. “Fokus op verlies”, Beeld, 9 November


  • Christa Smuts. “Jan van der Merwe, alledaagse heroorweeg”, Beeld, 21 August
  • Robyn Alexander. “Gerda Guldemond”, House and Leisure, October


  • Meredith Randall. “Land art: when the earth is your canvas”, Business Day, 21 July


  • Hardus Koekemoer. “Transformeer die beeld”, Pomp , 2012


  • Elretha Britz. “Oliewenhuis se mure vloere kant en wal vol kunswerke”, Volksblad, 16 Julie


    1986 - 1999

  • Reach Out / Reik Uit ’86, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
  • Volkskas Atelier 1987, SA Association of Arts, Pretoria.
  • Volkskas Atelier 1988, SA Association of Arts,Pretoria.
  • Volkskas Atelier 1990, SA Association of Arts,Pretoria.
  • Volkskas Atelier 1991, SA Association of Arts, Pretoria.
  • Volkskas Atelier 1992, SA Association of Arts,Pretoria.
  • Laurel Awards 1999,Technikon Pretoria,Pretoria.
  • Jan van der Merwe,“Transformation of the Found”, Abstracts:Research & Development, p 76,17/18 June,Technikon Pretoria,Pretoria.


  • Shrapnel, Freedom Festival, Ladysmith,KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Festival Programme 25 March – 1 April 2000, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees,Oudtshoorn.
  • Skrapnel,‘n Installasie deur vier kunstenaars 25 March –1 April 2000, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, Oudtshoorn.
  • Laurel Awards 2000,Technikon Pretoria, Pretoria.


  • “Shrapnel”, an art installation by four artists:7 June – 22 June, Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, Potchefstroom.
  • FNB Vita Art Award,2001, Natal Society of Arts,Gallery, Glenwood,Durban.
  • Festival Programme, Aardklop:2 – 6 October2001, Aardklop Kunstefees, Potchefstroom.


  • Festival Programme 2002, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees,Oudtshoorn.
  • Festival Programme2002, Hadeda Arts Festival, Tzaneen.
  • KNAP 2002, Catalogue of art exhibitions , Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees,Oudtshoorn.
  • Die Rooi Tapyt: Jan van der Merwe, Oliewenhuis Art Museum,Bloemfontein.


  • The Sanlam Art Collection, Sanlam Ltd, Bellville.
  • SasolWax in Art, Sasol, Johannesburg.
  • Festival Programme 2003, Aardklop Kunstefees, Potchefstroom.


  • Fusion through Art, Reflections on a Legacy, National Cultural History Museum,Pretoria.
  • art@ work, A decade and more of the Sasol Art Collection, 1982 – 1994, Sasol, Johannesburg.
  • Brett Kebble Art Awards, Bell-Roberts Publishing, Cape Town.
  • International Olympic Sport and Art Competition2004, International Olympic Committee (IOC),Zurich/Geneva/Athens (catalogue).


  • “Unknown” - Installations by Jan van der Merwe, Sanlam
  • Helgaard Steyn Prys, program toekenningsgeleentheid, North West University
  • “Reconciliation” – exhibition of selected South African artworks, University of South Africa


  • Feesgids: Absa Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees
  • Rendezvous focussculpture, curated by Gordon Froud, Paul Boulitreau, Christina Naurattel
  • Department Entertainment Technology: 30 years of entertainment of entertainment excellence, TUT


  • Feesgids: Absa Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees
  • Feesgids: Aardklop 10, Potchefstroom
  • Aardklop 10, Katalogus 10 Jaar Feeskunstenaars
  • Decade – highlights from 10 years of collecting for the Sanlam Art Collection
  • Wereldreizigers, Smak Museum gids, Gent


  • Intervention, Unisa
  • Dystopia, Unisa
  • Woordpoort: Op die planke, University of Pretoria


  • Site-specific, International land art event Plettenburg Bay, South Africa
  • 100 Plates, University of the Free State
  • Ik ben een Afrikaner, Art Space, Johannesburg


  • Feesprogram, Vryfees, Bloemfontein
  • Time and Space, educational brochure produced by the Oliewenhout Art Museum, Bloemfontein
  • Re-envisioning the Anglo Boer (South African) War, exhibition catalogue, Johannes Stegman Gallery, University of the Free State



  • Final Inspection, UNISA Fine Arts Department on Jan van der Merwe’s Master of Technology exhibition, video documentation (internal publication).
  • A.R.T., interview, July, SABC3.
  • Radio interview, Radio Sonder Grense (RSG),Hermien de Vos.


  • Sasol Scifest Science and Art Competition, Video interview, April,Sasol, Johannesburg (internal publication).
  • Sasol Scifest Science and Art-Competition, Radio Jakaranda News,SABC, Johannesburg.
  • Radio-interview, Monitor, RSG,Liezl Louw in Paris, July.


  • “Jan van der Merwe”, Pasella, SABC2, April.
  • Interview,“Bagged Baggage”, Kunskafee Kyknet, Johannesburg.
  • “Trapped Reflections”, Pasella, SABC2, Johannesburg.
  • Radio interview, Suid-Kaap Stereo, September.


  • Radio interview, Radio2,Belgium, June.
  • “FNB Vita Awards”, Kunskafee, Kyk-Net, Johannesburg.
  • “Installation art:Jan van der Merwe”, Kunskafee, Kyk-Net, Johannesburg.
  • “Art as therapy”, Ja/Nee, Kyk-Net,interview with Christina Landman, Johannesburg.
  • Geef ’n Drukkie, Feniks-Unite, Harelbeke, Belgium. (Video documentation of workshop for adult Mentally handicapped artists.)


  • “Interview on Installations in collaboration with Mission Antarctica and Gozololo Aids Orphan Shelter”, Take Five, SABC1.
  • “News Insert on The Red Carpet – exhibition at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein”,SABC2 and SABC3, Johannesburg.
  • “Digital Art, UNISA Art Gallery”, Kunskafee, Kyk-Net, Johannesburg.
  • “Hadeda Arts Festival,Tzaneen”, Fiesta, Kyk-Net,Johannesburg.
  • “People, Planet an Prosperity, ABSA Art Gallery”,Kunskafee, Kyk-Net, Johannesburg.


  • “Ysterkuns – Installasiekuns:Jan van der Merwe”,Pasella, SABC2, Johannesburg.
  • “Pretoria Lecturers Exhibition, University of Pretoria”, Kunskafee, Kyk-Net, Johannesburg.
  • “Jan van der Merwe, Feeskunstenaar, AardklopKunstefees”, Pasella, SABC2, Johannesburg.
  • “The Red Carpet,Aardkop Kunstefees”, News, SABC2. Johannesburg.
  • “Tabletalk, interview with Ivan May”, Radio Today, SAFM, Johannesburg.


  • “Olympic Art and Sport Contest”, Monitor, RSG, Johannesburg.
  • “Olympic Art and Sport Contest”, Morning Edition, ETV,Johannesburg.
  • “Olympic Art and Sport Contest”,Tshwane Universityof Technology Community Radio Station,Pretoria.
  • “Behind the Screens”, Nightlife,November, ETV, Johannesburg.
  • “Installation artist: Jan van der Merwe”, Summit Television, DSTV Channel 55, Johannesburg.


  • Ontwortel/Uprooted UJ Gallery RSG Kuns


  • Interview Radio Kragbron community radio


  • Die kunstenaar Jan van der Merwe besoek New York/Ampersand toekenning RSG Kuns


  • Interview with Kobus Burger, RSG Kuns on the exhibition Time and Space, Oliewenhout Art Museum, Bloemfontein
  • Interview by Eunika Smith for SABC TV1 News on the exhibition Time and Space, Oliewenhout Art Museum, Bloemfontein
  • Interview by Nosana Sondiyazi for the programme “Love Warrior” for Hlasela TV on the exhibition Time and Space, Oliewenhout Art Museum, Bloemfontein
  • Interview by Yolanda Maartens , OFM, on the exhibition Time and Space, Oliewenhout Art Museum, Bloemfontein


  • Artwork selected for front cover illustrations of published books Chris Louw: Boetman en die Swanesang van die Verligtes, 2001, Human en Rossouw ISBN079814145X André Pretorius: Iets Ver en Nuut, Reissketse, 2010, Protea Boekhuis, ISBN978-186919-355-3
  • Work listed as recommended artist in the official national syllabus for Visual Art, Department of Basic education. Art work part of matric exam paper for visual art.
  • Work listed as recommended artist in the syllabus of tertiary institutions, eg Unisa
  • Invited to give lectures on my art at high schools, at tertiary institutions, museums and art associations on a regular basis
  • Work used as illustration in the following publication that is distributed internationally: Volks, C (guest editor)/Crewe, M (series editor). 1012. Third Degree – Aids Review. Published by The Center for the Study of Aids, University of Pretoria
  • Regular interviews with school pupils, teachers, pre- and post-graduate as source for study projects
  • Invited to give workshops as community projects (eg at Tembisa, Centurion, Bela Bela township and others)
  • Invited to give workshops for mentally handicapped artists in Belgium (see attached letter)
  • Section on my art in textbook : Visual Art gr 12, published in 2013, Future Managers.
  • Invited as guest speaker, post graduate academic function, University of North West, Department of Visual Culture Studies, October 2013

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