Marietjie van der Merwe : ceramics 1960-1988.
Du Plessis, Lara.
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This dissertation will contextualize and analyse selected works of the South African ceramist Marietjie van der Merwe (bl935 dl992; known professionally as Marietjie, aka Mariki, Marikie) between 1960-1988. The text consists of three chapters. The first chapter will outline the life of Marietjie van der Merwe, discuss her political and religious affiliations and ends with a chronological outline of her ceramics. This introductory chapter will help the reader to gain an insight into her character and personality which influenced the work she produced. The second chapter comprises two main sections. The first deals with the ceramists who influenced Marietjie's work. In her early art training years Laura Andreson, her teacher, played a key role in inspiring and influencing Marietjie's work. The Natzlers influenced Marietjie indirectly through Laura Andreson who in turn had been taught by them. Rudolf Staffel manipulated aspects in porcelain inspired Marietjie's later works of the 1980s. The second half of this chapter deals with the influence that Marietjie had on institutions and her students. The works of Katherine Glenday, a student and later colleague, are discussed and comparisons made. Marietjie van der Merwe's contributed significantly to the modernist foundations of South African studio ceramics, was mentor and studio advisor to the ceramists of Rorke's Drift Art and Craft Centre and was a lecturer at the former Department of Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. Links with Nordic countries and Malin Lundbohm (now Sellmann) are drawn. Throughout this chapter the artist's work is compared and discussed with that of Marietjie's. This dissertation concludes with a documentary study of six selected pieces. Original photographs facilitate visually what is been discussed in the text. These samples are found in Iziko South African National Gallery, Tatham Art Gallery and from the private collection of Lara Du Plessis.