Chrisél Attewell

Chrisél Attewell

Contemporary South African Artist

 

“We are surrounded by landscapes and societies that are traumatised. Within these landscapes, there are traces that may tell us more about the many ways through which we are connected, to each other, to other species, and to the Earth. Finding such traces in the environments around me, and deciphering their nuanced meanings and histories, is the driving force of my artistic practice.

My work is a response to the natural environments I explore around me, and often includes natural materials such as clay, glass, wood, and stone. A central part of understanding my work is to consider what these materials communicate. Each material contains information about our interconnectedness with the Earth and involves elements of curiosity, play, transparency, fragility, tension, and balance.”

 

Chrisél Attewell (b. 1994) is a multidisciplinary artist from South Africa. Her work is research-driven and experimental. Inspired by current socio-ecological concerns, Attewell’s work explores the nuances in people’s connection to the Earth and each other. She works with various mediums, including installation, sculpture, photography, and painting, and prefers natural materials, such as hemp canvas, oil paint, glass, clay, and stone.

She received her BAFA (Fine Arts, Cum Laude) from the University of Pretoria in 2016 and is currently pursuing her MA in Visual Arts at the University of Johannesburg. Her work has been represented locally and internationally in numerous exhibitions, residencies, and art fairs. Attewell was selected as a Sasol New Signatures finalist (2016, 2017) and a Top 100 finalist for the ABSA L’Atelier (2018). Attewell was selected as a 2018 recipient of the Young Female Residency Award, founded by Benon Lutaaya.

Her work was showcased at the 2019 Contemporary Istanbul with Berman Contemporary and her latest solo exhibition, titled Sociogenesis: Resilience under Fire, curated by Els van Mourik, was exhibited in 2020 at Berman Contemporary in Johannesburg. Attewell also exhibited at the main section of the 2022 Investec Cape Town Art Fair.

Instagram: @chrisel_attewell

Solo and Duo Exhibitions

2022      WORK IN PROGRESS: Chrisél Attewell & Gina vd Ploeg. Berman Contemporary. Curated by Els van Mourik. 
2021      ARTISTES DE LA TERRE: Chrisél Attewell & Barbara Schroeder. Berman Contemporary. Curated by Els van Mourik.
2020      SOCIOGENESIS: Resilience Under Fire. Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg.  Curated by Els van Mourik.
2019      Substratum. Lizamore & Associates Gallery, Johannesburg 
2018      Architectus Konstruksie. Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees (KKNK), Oudsthoorn, Western Cape
2018      Under Construction. Assemblage, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022       Making and Interpreting Art in 2022, SARChI Postgraduate Exhibition, curated by Dineke Van der Walt.
2022       WORKS ON PAPER, curated by Els van Mourik, Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2022       ANNUAL SUMMER SHOW, curated by Els van Mourik, Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2021       Annual Winter Show: The Liminal Space, Berman Contemporary, curated by Morgan Kunhardt. Johannesburg.
2021       Making and Interpreting Art in 2021, SARChI Postgraduate Exhibition, curated by Dineke Van der Walt.
2020       Learning to Breathe Differently, Berman Contemporary, Curated by Els van Mourik, Johannesburg. 
2019       ArtLadies, Berman Contemporary, Curated by Els van Mourik, Johannesburg.
2019       Collecting Contemporary, Lizamore Gallery, KKNK, Oudtshoorn.
2019       SAFFCA Group Exhibition, Gerhard Sekoto Gallery, Alliance Française, Johannesburg.
2018       Unsettled, ABSA Gallery, curated by Thabo Seshoka, Johannesburg.
2018       Talking to Deaf Ears, ABSA Gallery, curated by Sarah McGee, Johannesburg.
2017       Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards, Coen Scholtz Recreation Centre, Kempton Park.
2017       Young Capital – White Noise, Joburg Fringe, Curated by Mbali Tshabalala, Johannesburg.
2017       Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria.
2017       Fresh Produce, Turbine Art Fair, Curated by Rolihlahla Mhlanga, Johannesburg.
2017       My XXX, Innibos National Arts Festival, Curated by John-Anthony Boerma, Nelspruit. 
2016       Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria.
2013       Hidden Urban Histories, Rembrandt Hall, University of Pretoria, Pretoria. 

Collections

The African Arts Trust Collection
The ABSA Bank Collection
The Project Space Collection
Harrie Siertsema Personal Collection
South African Foundation of Contemporary Arts Collection 

Commissions

The Leonardo Building, Sandton 
Quorum Properties, Johannesburg

Art Fairs  

2022       Investec Cape Town Art Fair. Berman Contemporary. Cape Town International Convention Centre. 
2021       Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Online. Berman Contemporary. 
2020       1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Berman Contemporary and Christie’s, Online, London
2019       Contemporary Istanbul, Berman Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey
2019       Turbine Art Fair, solo booth: Earth to earth, stone to stone, dust to dust. 
2018       Investec Cape Town Art Fair, The Project Space, Cape Town.
2018       RMB Turbine Art Fair, Young Female Residency Award, The Project Space, Johannesburg. 
2017       RMB Talent Unlocked, Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg.

Awards 

2021       Special URC Award. University of Johannesburg, Postgraduate School
2018       ABSA L’atelier, Top 100
2018       Grant received from The African Arts Trust as part of the Assemblage Exhibition Programme
2017       Thami Mnyele Fine Art Awards, top 100, Coen Scholtz Recreation Centre, Kempton Park 
2017       Sasol New Signatures, finalist, mentioned in catalogue, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria 

Publications 

2022      A Matter of Contemporary Connections, ART TIMES, February 2022                

2022      Collector’s Edition Cover – Chrisél Attewell, featured on the Opener and dust jacket of House & Leisure

2022      Works on Paper exhibition at Berman Contemporary allows for viewers to engage with the artists’ process of creating, Edward Tsumele, Feb 2022

2021      The 10 artists participating in The Liminal Space exhibition at Berman Contemporary test artistic limits, Edward Tsumele, Aug 2021

2020      Whispers of Inspiration, Bernie Hellberg Jr, Signature, May 2020

2019      Selections, Curated by Contemporary Istanbul, September 2019

2019      RMB Turbines Art Fair’s Potential to Challenge Traditional Arbiters of Taste, Nkgopoleng Moloi, Bubblegum Club, July 2019

2019      The Young Female Residency Award: Entrepreneurship and Arts, Art Africa, July 2019

2019      Art Africa, Countering Artybollocks – an exhibition curated by Bland&Boring, written by Tracy Murinik

2018      South African Art Scene: Artist using printmaking to explore Johannesburg’s architectural history, CGTN Africa

2018      Khuluma Magazine, Jozi’s Lost Pockets, written by Trevor Crighton

2018      Prestige Digital Magazine, Jo’burg’s Rebirth Documented as Art, written by Trevor Crighton

2018      SA Art Times, Sculpture Fair

2016      SA Art Times, University of Pretoria Graduate Exhibition

Residencies 

2022       Work in Progress: An In-Situ Residency, Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg
2019       Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), Residency at Entabeni Farm, Knysna 
2018       Recipient of the Young Female Residency Award with The Project Space, founded by Benon Lutaaya 
2017       Artist Career Development Programme developed by Assemblage

Conferences, Presentations, and Papers:

2022      Notions of Disappearance in African Artists’ Response to Postcolonial Landscapes, Making and Interpreting Art in 2022, SARChI Postgraduate Conference in association with UJ, the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science and Innovation

2022      Artists’ Responses to Traces in the Postcolonial Traumatised Landscape. Spring Seminar 2022: Traumatic Landscapes, School of Arts, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, in Association with CITAR (Research Center for Science and Technology of the Arts) and FCT (Foundation for Science and Technology), Porto, Portugal. 

2021      Circular economies in the artistic practices of Otobong Nkanga and Ibrahim Mahama, Making and Interpreting Art in 2021, SARChI Postgraduate Conference in association with UJ, the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science and Innovation

2019      A Womxn’s Work: Sculpting and Living.  A discussion with Avi Soulful and Chrisél Attewell on the processes, practices, challenges and glories of being a (female) sculptor in South Africa.  Turbine Art Fair Talks Programme Sponsored by RMB Private Bank

Education 

2021-     MA in Visual Arts, University of Johannesburg.
2016       BA(FA) Fine Arts, Summa Cum Laude, University of Pretoria