Strijdom van der Merwe (b. 1961) is a full-time artist who lives in Stellenbosch. He studied art at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), Hooge School voor de Kunste (Utrecht, the Netherlands), the Academy of Art and Architecture (Prague, the Czech Republic) and the Kent Institute of Art and Design (Canterbury, England).
Among the many decorations he received are the Jackson Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, a medal of honour from the South African Academy of Arts and Science, the Prince Claus grant in Amsterdam. He was nominated for the Daimler Chrysler Award for sculpture in public spaces, was a finalist for the International Award for Public Art, established to increase visibility for public art internationally, and won the It’s LIQUID International Contest, First Edition 2012, in Italy for sculpture and installation. The Kanna award at the Oudtshoorn Arts Festival for best visual art projection in a musical collaboration. In 2015 he collaborated to win the ATKV Aartvark award for most innovative work at the Aardklop Arts Festival in Potchefstroom.
He has held numerous solo and group exhibitions over the past years and his work has been bought by private and public collectors locally and abroad. Commissioned work / Residency’s on invitation where done in Korea x 5, Japan x 3, Belgium x 2, France, USA (Smithsonian Institute), Turkey, Kenya, Australia, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, Norway. Switzerland and Germany. In 2013 he was asked to be the festival artist at both the Aardklop Arts Festival and the Fjellfestival in Andelsnes, Norway. Van der Merwe was a member of the curatorial panel for World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 and is a founding member of Site-Specific South Africa. He was co-curator of the Exhibition of 30 Nature Artists in the World (2015) and the Global Nomadic Art Project (2015‒2016) in South Korea.
Red Figures on stones. This small sculpture series is a playful interpretation of some of the most everyday positions that we find ourselves in. Whether we are sitting and thinking, contemplating or even just relaxing with some yoga moves. It is a reminder of those positions that we take for granted and in sculptural form, it takes on a renewed appreciation.
Cornerstone is a playful marriage between words and material. By reading the word you complete the concept visually. Cornerstone is such a strong concept, by visually displaying it using a natural stone with the words cast in a precious metal, value is added to the visual experience of the sculpture.
All of these works are original and unique editions because of the use of different and individual stones; however, the series is an unlimited edition.