MARIEKE PRINSLOO - ROWE (1977- )
BA Honours Fine Art, University of Pretoria
Master of Fine Art (currently completing), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg South Africa
Marieke’s work continues to explore the human figure, considering way in which sculpture mimics the three dimensionality of a human presence and thus the powerful dialogue it invites – human to human look-alike.
The instinctive recognition that figurative sculpture elicits from its ‘real’ living viewer has brought about innumerable interpretations, from ancient to modern art making. As such it has generated a deep, communal reservoir of expression, one to which each new piece adds in depth and complexity.
Marieke’s sculpture ever seeks to make the layered experience of everyday life more understandable, more meaningful - setting in place sculpted bodies as carriers of stories and dreams - of honouring the past, preserving the present and hoping in the future.
As the sculptures flit through these static moments they set them in stone and hallow them from profane to sacred, turning the viewing of each into a rite of passage.
And so their story becomes an invitation.
Marieke grew up on a horse farm and has sculpted – with whatever she could find - since she can remember. She studied Fine Art at the University of Pretoria with a major in sculpture and is currently completing her Masters Degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Being part of a very multi cultural, multi lingual new South African Democracy has made a significant impact on her sculpture. There is ever the desire to communicate and be understood - to be relevant, hopeful and truthful – a part of the fiercely determined South African Art movement.
In 1997 Marieke was awarded the Sasol New signatures judges award by William Kentridge.
In 1999 she was the winner of the PPC National Young Sculptors Award with her installation ‘Inconcrete in Concrete’.
In 1999 a collection of10 life size sculptures ‘I Have Called You By Name’ was acquired by the National Johannesburg Art Museum (JAG) for their permanent collection.
In 2010 to 2012 she presented ‘Walking the Road’ Public Art installation on the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town. The fable like story was enacted over 2km by eighteen sculptures of a ten year old little Swimmer Girl who yearns to fly like the Dragonfly she meets. And she does! In the symbolic oral tradition so intrinsic to African history preservation ‘Walking the Road’ represented the young South African Democracy in its quest for liberation – to fly – in the pursuit of equality.
In 2014 she was awarded a national tender to create the first HIV and AIDS Children’s Memorial Sculpture. The monumental work comprised the gestural sculpting of six children who are currently living with the disease and are based within her direct community. She closely collaborated with them on imaging their struggles and dreams and then transferring these as designs unto thirty sculpted doves. The doves have been attached to the children in such a way that they seem fly between them. The sculptures stand on plinths of varying heights into which a delicate water system runs - a constant reminder of hope and growth.
The monument is on permanent display on the Miriam Makeba Terrace at UNISA campus.
In 2015 Marieke was selected to create a 6m National Monument for the South African Department of Art, Culture and Heritage of the late Mr John Beaver Marks. The bronze sculpture is to be installed in the North West Province, the first of its kind in that area.
She is currently working on a seventeen piece Clay Oxen Public Sculpture project for the City of Cape Town, to be unveiled in mid 2017. It is another narrative installation and tells the story of a little boy who sits sculpting a small, bright violet ox in clay. He sets out his game of a full team of seven pairs of trekking oxen in a mimic of the frontier pioneers, shared by both Afrikaans and Xhosa cultures. The oxen increase in size with each pair, moving through indigo, blue, green, yellow and orange. The last two are larger than life and in blazing red. On one of this pair a girl is riding, and another girl walks alongside the other as the journey to the future continues together.
Marieke has completed numerous private and public commissions and her work is represented in several public sites, private collections and galleries both nationally and abroad.