Chrisél van der Merwe was born in 1994 in South Africa. She received her BA Fine Arts degree from the University of Pretoria in 2016. Van der Merwe was selected as a Sasol New Signatures finalist in 2016 and 2017. In 2017 she was chosen to participate in the Assemblage Peer Mentoring Program and the RMB Talent Unlocked exhibition at the Turbine Art Fair. Hereafter she continued to showcase her work in multiple group shows around South Africa where her work has become part of various national and international collections. In 2018 she participated in several group exhibitions at the ABSA Art Gallery in Johannesburg and was selected as a Top 100 finalist for the ABSA L’atelier  Art Competition. She had three solo projects in 2018; “Architectus Konstruksie” at the Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees (KKNK), “Under Construction” at Assemblage in Braamfontein, and “Substratum” at Lizamore & Associates in Rosebank.  Van der Merwe was selected as a 2018 recipient of the Young Female Residency Award with The Project Space. 

Van der Merwe works in multiple mediums, including experimental printmaking, sculpting, painting and installation.  Her work often explores different ways in which energies, moments, memories and histories can be captured, documented and preserved. Her work is very experimental in nature and often takes a performative approach to the process of making.  In van der Merwe’s work there are initial intentions, but there is an overlapping of uncontrolled process. These processes ricochet off one another within her different mediums where a shared language emerges from the collective of her work.

Van der Merwe currently lives and works in Johannesburg where she has a studio at End Street Studios in August House, Doornfontein. 





Artybollocks!, NOW Gallery, Open Window Institute, Pretoria. Curated by Bland&Boring. 

 Collecting Contemporary, Lizamore Gallery, Rosebank.

 Artybollocks!, the Project Space, Johannesburg. Curated by Bland&Boring.

Collecting Contemporary, Lizamore Gallery, KKNK, Oudtshoorn.  

SAFFCA Group Exhibition, Gerhard Sekoto Gallery, Alliance Françiase, Johannesburg.

Group exhibition at the Investec International Cape Town Art Fair, The Project Space, Cape Town.  Curated by Asha Waja.



Young Female Residency Award: Introduction of winner and finalists, The Project Space, an initiative by Benon Lutaaya, RMB Turbine Art Fair. 

Group showcase with Millennium Gallery, RMB Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg.  

Unsettled, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg. Curated by Thabo Seshoka. 

5th Wave, August House, Johannesburg. Curated by Olwethu de Vos.

Talking to Deaf Ears, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg. Curated by Sarah McGee.

Relatively Small, Corner House, Johannesburg.  Curated by Johan Stegmann and Chrisel van der Merwe.



Group Exhibition and Open Studios / August House, Johannesburg.  Curated by Sarah McGee

Inktober 2017 / Nedbank building, Braamfontein. 

Magiciens d’Afrique / Oda Gallery, Franschhoek.  Curated by Patrizia Helene Litty. 

Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards / Coen Scholtz Recreation Centre, Kempton Park. 

Abstraction / Oda Gallery, Franschhoek.  Curated by Patrizia Helene Litty.

Urban Findings, A Pop Up Printmaking Exhibition / One Eloff, Johannesburg.  Curated by Mbali Tshabalala.

Young Capital – White Noise / Joburg Fringe, Johannesburg.  Curated by Mbali Tshabalala. 

Sasol New Signatures / Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria. 

Group Art Exhibition / August House, Johannesburg.  Curated by Mbali Tshabalala.

Fresh Produce Exhibition / Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg.  Curated by Rolihlahla Mhlanga. 

My XXX Exhibition / Innibos National Arts Festival, Nelspruit.  Curated by John-Anthony Boerma.



Sasol New Signatures / Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria. 

FOUR / African Beer Emporium, Pretoria. 

TEMPO / Eduardo Villa Museum, University of Pretoria, Pretoria.  Curated by Natalie Fossey.



Abxiom / Anton van Wouw Museum, Pretoria.



CuSi Bronze Exhibition / Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, Pretoria.



Hidden Urban Histories / Rembrandt Hall, University of Pretoria, Pretoria.






Substratum, Lizamore & Associates Gallery,  Rosebank. 

Under Construction, Assemblage, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. 

Architectus Konstruksie, Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees (KKNK), Oudsthoorn, Western Cape.



2013 -2016 

BA(FA) Fine Arts, Summa Cum Laude

University of Pretoria 

Dissertation: Making Your Audience Cry: A Neuropsychological Reading of Marina Abramović`s ‘The Artist is Present’.


2008 – 2012

National Senior Certificate, with average 89%

Hoërskool Noordheuwel




ABSA L’atelier Top 100  

Recipient of the Young Female Residency Award with The Project Space, founded by Benon Lutaaya. 

Grant received towards the realisation of my solo project from The African Arts Trust as part of the Assemblage Exhibition Programme.



Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards Top 100

Three months residency program at End Street Studios, an extension of August House.  

Sasol New Signatures Finalist  

Chosen to participate in the Artist Career Development Programme developed by Assemblage in partnership with Visual Arts Network of South Africa, Business and Arts South Africa, and RMB Talent Unlocked. 



Sasol New Signatures Finalist


2014 – 2016

Golden Key International Honor Society Award 



Gauteng Top Learner Award for Visual Arts; 100% 

Dux Learner Award, Hoërskool Noordheuwel



The African Arts Trust Collection

The ABSA Bank Collection

The Project Space Collection

Harrie Siertsema Personal Collection