The Contours of the Cape

Meet Adele van Heerden (she/her)

A born-and-bred Capetonian, Adele has a Fine Arts degree from the Ruth Prowse School of Art, a BA (History and Politics) from UNISA and an Honours in Curatorship from UCT. She brings these various fields together in her fine arts practice, something she pursues full-time since leaving a job as a gallery curator in 2018. In 2023, she was selected as one of ART.CO.ZA’s Artists to Watch and has completed residencies in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Paris, with her work filling the collections of private collectors on three continents.

A story with many layers

Visit the back of the letter E to see Adele van Heerden’s artistic interpretation. 

A passionate trail walker, Adele’s artwork is inspired by personal memories of her time on Stellenbosch Mountains, along with her own images used in a reverse-painting method developed by the artist herself. Featuring the iconic protea is deep in symbolism: with over 1 400 varieties, it represents diversity, and the yellow colour of the portrayed flowers embodies a spirit of hope and new beginnings. If you look closely, you’ll also see the Cape Sugarbird, a crucial pollinator that uses its long, curved bill to extract sweet nectar. It is the official bird of the Western Cape and symbolises the region’s natural beauty.