ABOUT THE CURATOR
Elani Willemse is an Arts Administrator, Curator and freelance writer with more than ten years' experience in the South African arts and non-profit industries. She has been affiliated with the North-West University Gallery in Potchefstroom and Dionysus Sculpture Works in Pretoria, as well as the Aardklop National Arts Festival and the Cool Capital Biennale.
She completed her Master’s Degree in Art History at the North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom Campus in 2013. Here she worked as Assistant Curator and Collection Manager at the NWU Gallery, a non-commercial art gallery aimed at educating the next generation of art investors and enthusiasts. Following her run at the NWU Gallery, she continued her professional career as Business Manager and Liaison Officer at Dionysus Sculpture Works (DSW), the Pretoria-based fine art sculpture studio and foundry of renowned South African sculptor Angus Taylor. Here she fulfilled a central role in the everyday operational functioning and project management of the studio, while also playing an active role in the art community through creative projects, curation of exhibitions, and general advisory to young and aspiring artists.
She has always been actively involved in the art scene, working as Logistics Manager for the Clover Aardklop Visual Arts Program from 2011 to 2012, and coordinating the ATKV WoordKuns Project, a youth art competition sponsored by the Afrikaans Language and Culture Association. She has also designed and coordinated publications such as the NWU Art Collection Publication titled Looking back while moving forward, Son of African soil, a public art catalogue featuring monumental sculptures by Angus Taylor and the exhibition catalogue for sculptor Francois Visser titled Surround.
She has curated various art exhibitions, including the 20-year retrospective DSW traveling group-exhibition titled TACIT which toured South African museums between 2016 and 2018, and exhibitions for national arts festivals in South Africa. She is passionate about community projects which make art accessible to a wider audience, and was involved with the Cool Capital DIY Guerrilla Biennale, coordinating Capital Open Foundry Day and administrating the PPC Cement Public Benches project, which won the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) award for Innovation in 2015.