Chrisél van der Merwe was born in 1994 in South Africa. She received her BA Fine Arts degree from the 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. She had two solo projects in 2018; “Architectus Konstruksie” at the 2018 Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees (KKNK) and “Under Construction” at Assemblage in Braamfontein. Van der Merwe was selected as a 2018 finalist and runner-up 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.

Van der Merwe currently lives and works in Johannesburg where she has a studio at End Street Studios in August House, Doornfontein. Here draws inspiration from the creation, decay and regeneration within the permanent state of flux of the city. In this fluent urban context, renewal and erosion are concurrent themes in her artistic practice.





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.





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

Finalist and Runner Up for the Young Artist 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