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Klara-Marié den Heijer  spent her formative years in The Helderberg Basin, an intimate cluster of towns encircled by imposing mountains to the north-east and the converging Indian and Atlantic Oceans to the south-east. The Helderberg was named by 17th century Dutch explorers and literally means ‘The Clear Mountains’, referring to a range of mountains that are visible from the city of Cape Town. This corner of the Western Cape Peninsula is surrounded with a natural landscape that boasts one of the most complex biodiversity regions in Africa. She is currently based in Woodstock, Cape Town.
At school Klara took art as a subject, painting with oils from the age of 14. She went on to study Fine Art at Stellenbosch University, where she graduated Cum Laude in 2009. As a student she received numerous awards and prestigious accolades, both nationally and internationally, confirming her exceptional ability and talent as a young and upcoming South African artist.
Walking remains an essential aspect of Klara's art, and she describes this as her “thinking space”. The places she discovers become the starting point and material of most of her art practice. Documenting these walks through photography, digital records, collected objects, drawings, mapping, recorded memories and other data, in conjunction with copious research notes, she provides the material for the experimental processes from that ultimately yields her remarkable art.
Vivian van der Merwe
Stellenbosch, South Africa
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