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Who is Kobie Venter, the artist?

Kobie Venter (Jakoba Elizabeth Nel) was born in Grahamstown in 1939 and grew up in Stellenbosch, where she was educated. At Stellenbosch University she studied languages and psychology, and obtained a teaching diploma. She taught at three different Cape schools before marrying Natalian, Koos Venter, who had studied Forestry at Stellenbosch. They moved to Eshowe in Zululand, where two of their sons, Johan and Louis, were born. The third son, Kobus, was born in Sabie.

The family also lived in George and Kokstad before building a house in Blackridge, Pietermaritzburg, where they settled. The boys went to school here, and Kobie was able to study Fine Art at the local university.

Kobie has now lived in Pietermaritzburg for the last 44 years. She worked at the Tatham Art Gallery as art educator for about 20 years, retiring at the end of 2019. Before that, she taught Afrikaans and art part time at St Anne’s Diocesan College for 8 years.

Now that she is retired, Kobie Venter is delighted to find time for drawing and painting. She started slowly, drawing on dedicated days with Brendan Bell. Both made ink drawings, trying to find new ways of expression. While Kobie used black ink, Brendan experimented with a variety of coloured inks, which left an impression on her mind and urged her to use more colour.

For many years Kobie found inspiration from her close friend, Sue Physick, who encouraged her to play more, and to enjoy the process, as their friend Jutta Faulds also taught. When Sue died in January 2021, Kobie found inspiration to start making new artworks, playing with colour. In the past many of her drawings were done with a brush and black ink. These images often leaned towards the surreal and were derived from found objects, juxtaposed in sculptural ways. She now started discovering new ways of using colour. At the same time her love for nature and flowers, which had its roots in her Cape childhood, found expression.

At this time in her life Kobie is striving towards a freer artistic expression of her love for life and beauty. She keeps remembering the words of Jinny Heath: I paint in order to learn more about painting.

Kobie Venter

Unframed works are professionally mounted
with top quality museum board, and carefully packaged
All artworks are original
2 Still Life with Camellia. 2019. Ink,bleach on paper. Mounted
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