Ronél de Jager (b.1985, Johannesburg, South Africa) studied BTech Fine Arts at Tshwane University of Technology, where she obtained distinctions in Painting and Printmaking in her final year (2006).
The artist’s work has featured in a number of curated exhibitions, including amongst others Interrupted (UJ Gallery, 2013); No Place Like Now (Lovell Gallery, 2013); Point of Departure (Lizamore & Assoc. Gallery, 2014); Macabre (Under Culture Contemporary, 2015); Stellar (Salon91, 2015); For What It’s Worth (No End Contemporary, 2016); Spaces Between Maps (ABSA Gallery, KKNK Festival, 2016) and more recently The Sacred & Profane (Lizamore & Assoc Gallery, 2017); Dead and Dreaming: Still life (Priest Gallery, 2017) and MYOPIA a two-woman exhibition with artist Mandy Coppes-Martin (Lizamore & Associates, 2017).
De Jager’s works are included in a number of private collections, locally and internationally, as well as in the corporate art collections of Hollard, Rand Merchant Rank, Sasol, Telkom, Spier, Nando’s International & the permanent collection of the South African National Library.
De Jager’s début solo exhibition (2014 & 2015) A.M. After Midnight was a multi-media, multi-spatial exhibition which unfolded in three parts in a series of diverse spaces with the first A Prelude hosted by ROOM Gallery & Projects in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The second installment of the exhibition, An Interlude, was one of the featured installations at the 2014 Turbine Art Fair. With both these exhibitions culminating in the third and final part (hosted by Lizamore & Associates gallery, Johannesburg). As each new element of the project is unveiled, previous incarnations exist in memory. Across this evolving body of work, the recording and capturing of light acts as a register of moments of silence, movement, flux, transition and metamorphosis.
Her work was presented at the at the Cape Town Art Fair (2015) – as well as the Turbine Art Fair in 2013 to 2016 – with An Interlude in 2014 as a featured solo project. She has been a regular finalist in national art competitions such as Absa L’Atelier Art Awards (2008, 2013 and 2015), Sasol New Signatures (in 2007, 2008 and 2010) and Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards (in 2006 to 2011).
Although De Jager does not restrict herself to one medium – she also works comfortably across disciplines and media in installation, photography, video and painting. Experimenting with photographic practices to capture ‘moments’, which De Jager memorialises through the transient process of painting; melding light, space and time.De Jager uses this technical ability in her paintings, but moreover approaches painting with the eye and heart of an installation artist. Through this her practice is constantly able to morph to meet new understandings and inquiries.
De Jager has been an active participant in the major art festivals in South Africa as part of curated group exhibitions, including the KKNK, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and Aardklop.
In 2017, De Jager was selected as part of the main program to present her solo exhibition Broeigrond: Fertile Ground for Golden Regrets at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees. This exhibition presented new works by De Jager linked to the overall curatorial theme “Greed and Fear”.
De Jager expanded on her multi-disciplinary practice with electroplating and glass sculptures, as well as developing her existing practice of infrared photography.
The significance and quality of this solo exhibition was acknowledged where, De Jager received a KANNA award for Best Visual Art Exhibition.
De Jager describes her works as evolving from traces of light which become fragments of a greater whole – chance encounters that either resonate and linger, or are seen and forgotten. This is further investigated in Broeigrond; exploring how energy, light and metamorphosis are embedded in nature and what it may tell us about our existence and future.
The artist currently resides and works from her studio in Parkwood, as well as her satellite space at TwilSharp Studios in Bertrams, Johannesburg.