Anna van der Ploeg is a contemporary artist from Cape Town, South Africa. Following a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours, Anna’s interdisciplinary art practice has quickly made an impression in the art world. Combining printmaking, painting and sculpture, van der Ploeg’s works is visually intriguing and thought provoking.
Her first solo show, Arc and Toll, at SMITH (September 2016) propelled her art career. After the success of this show, and another solo show in Cape Town, van der Ploeg embarked upon a year of Artist-in-Residence Programs in France, India and Japan. Today, Anna van der Ploeg’s Australian exhibitions with Otomys Contemporary see her furthering her global acclaim.
These experiences have been formative to her practice, honing her appreciation and mastery of various print methods. Van der Ploeg uses diverse materials, including wax, rust, metal, ink, wood and paper, to create works with texture, dimension and depth. Alongside a productive art career, Anna van der Ploeg works as a beekeeper, which further informs her visual language. The veiled bee keeper is consequently seen in many of her works, juxtaposed alongside a swarm to represent a delicate balance of power.
Van der Ploeg explores the idea of discomfort through her artwork, touching on what we choose to reveal of ourselves, and what we hide. Soft and pleasing to the eye while remaining texturally interesting, van der Ploeg’s interdisciplinary style is always engaging.
In fact, van der Ploeg recently incorporated a rare and new medium into her work, this is ‘mokuhanga’. Receiving tuition on this Japanese water-based woodblock printmaking technique during her art residency in Japan, van der Ploeg now adds further classic intrigue to the mediums she employs.
This ancient technique works beautifully to build up multiple layers of colour, remaining subtle yet incredibly deep. Van der Ploeg states that her experience in this medium, and in Japan in general, was deeply illuminating and humbling. As her practice grows, she hopes to carry these lessons with her.
Van der Ploeg’s artwork explores sincerity, discomfort and nature, occupying the space between the universal and minute. Her usage of diverse materials allows her to approach her enquiries from multiple angles. Her appreciation of poetry, podcasts and cycling subtly influence her art practice.
This young and emerging artist has won prizes including:
Sasol New Signatures Art Competition Finalist (2015)
Dean’s Merit List (2014)
Silver Award De Beers English Olympiad (2010)
Student Head of Art St Cyprians (2010)
Arts and Culture Prize (2006)
Micklefield School Art Cup (2005)