Andrieta Wentzel teaches Three-Dimensional Studies at the School of Music, Art and Design at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Port Elizabeth. In 2006 she obtained an M.A. degree in Fine Arts at this university and has, since then, divided her commitment between teaching and the execution of large public commissions. She continues to paint, sculpt and draw, using a wide range of materials, including bronze, wood, found objects, oil paintings, pastels and mixed media.
Wentzel held her first solo exhibition in 1989 in the EPSAC Gallery, Port Elizabeth. Since then she has taken part in more than 50 group exhibitions in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Pretoria and Kimberley, as well as at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
Her latest participation in an exhibition was Journeys at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth in 2014, where Aspects of the Dark Other featured. She delivered a lecture and conducted a walkabout at this exhibition. She regularly exhibits locally and nationally.
Wentzel has executed various commissions, such as a bronze bust of Nelson Mandela for the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in Bisho, which was presented as a birthday gift to him on his 86th birthday in 2004. Others are designs for ceramic tiles and relief panels for the Magistrate’s Court in Port Elizabeth and oil paintings for Sun International interests in the city.
Aspects of the Dark Other (12 totem poles made from driftwood and mixed media) was created in 2006 as part of the artist’s studio and exhibition work for her M.Tech-degree, entitled The Four Cycles of Heracles: Towards the Visual Articulation of Myth as a Psycho- logical Process. In this document she explores Jung’s notion of individuation and attempts to interpret the twelve labours.
The twelve totem poles do not literally portray or explain the twelve tasks of Hercules, but attempt to create a feeling wherein aspects, as reflected in Aspects of the Dark Other, are faced during the journey to psychological maturity. The installation presents the journey towards the inner-self through assimilation and archetypes of shadow, the anima and the wise old man.
Initially, the installation of the twelve sneezewood totem poles was arranged in a centripetal spiral, focusing on and moving to the centre. The first two totems fall into the first cycle of the hero’s labours and the first part of individuation, where the objective is to acknowledge and integrate the shadow part.
Totems third to ninth fall into the second phase – the tension of the two opposites, normally at mid-life. The objective with the second cycle is to come to terms with the negative aspects of the shadow part of the archetypes, in order to reveal their equally positive creative attributes.
The tenth and eleventh totems deal with the third cycle of establishing the meaning behind the pairs of opposites. During the twelfth labour Hercules had to survive his third “baptism” encounter with the earth/underworld.
Art in collections
Sculptures in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth. Bronze sculpture in private collection, Germany
Drawings in a private collection, England; Private collections, South Africa; Telkom, South Africa
Paintings in Salon Prive and Casino, Sun International
Ciment Fondu Public Sculpture, Sun and Sea, Happy Valley, Port Elizabeth.
Law Courts, new extension, two elephant sculptural relief panels above entrance, two sculptural relief panels on pediment, North End, Port Elizabeth
Maintenance Unit, EP Command, Air Force Base, elephant sculptures
Three figures at the Sister Ethal’s Missionvale Church, Port Elizabeth.
Bronze portrait of Nelson Mandela in the Nelson Mandela art collection
1993 & 94 Sanlam Bursaries
1994, 95 & 97 Merit Awards of NMMU
1996 Robert Niven Bursary and EPSAC Bursary
2006 NMMU Scholarship and P.A. & Aliza Malan Trust Bursary (Worcester)
2009 & 2012 NMMU Creative Outputs Visual Arts
Aspects of the Dark Other (2006),
installation of sneezewood and mixed media, h ± 218cm
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
Photos courtesy of the artist