About Talita Swarts | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

Artist Photo

Artist Statement

I believe that art represents a powerful tool through which complicated emotions and issues can be communicated to the world. For this reason I feel strangely empowered and liberated when I make an artwork.

Primarily I try to communicate that change is possible if you change how people look at the world. My own creative process varies according to the medium I chose for the creation of a specific artwork. Usually it starts with a lengthy process of concept development. During this phase I try to simplify visual coding either through choice of medium or the use of symbols. This is however a thin line to walk as an artist, because it is easy to fall in the trap of over simplifying complicated issues. If you are not careful you will lose the viewers attention.

For this reason my work is multi-layered, seemingly simplistic, but if you dig beneath the surface multiple interpretations and understandings of the work will emerge depending on your own level of knowledge on the subject addressed. Often I make use of visual metaphors as a means through which to communicate my concept to the observer. In other words through combining seemingly unrelated objects or materials I try to explain new ideas about issues or emotions experienced by contemporary society to the viewer.

The above mentioned process links with my own philosophy for the creation of a successful work of art. Art, in my view, must be understood by the viewer. It must be relevant within the context of contemporary society, and it must have a physical, lasting effect on the consciousness of the observer.

Many artists have influenced my work, but Joseph Beuys remains the one artist that influenced my vision as an artist through his concept of democratic art. Beuys believed that the creative process can change society. This belief greatly influenced me as a South African artist.

“The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts make it” (Marcus Aurelius).

Talita Swarts won an award at Florence Biennale 2009

2009: Lorenzo il Magnifico award for fourth place in Installation art at the Biennale Internazionale Dell’ Art Contemporanea. Florence, Italy.

Artist CV


  • 2000: Matriculated at Hoërskool Ventersdorp.
  • 2004: Graduate BA (Fine Arts), with a distinction in practical work, at the University of Pretoria.
  • 2007: Finished my Masters degree in the Visual arts working with multi media sculpture and installation art as medium of specialization. The subject of my dissertation was: The educational potential of new genre public art in South Africa.
  • 2012: PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner.

    Work experience

  • 2003-2004: Developed and coordinated a community project, Colour Gift.
  • 2005-2006: Throughout 2005 I worked with a group of people selected by the Development Bank of South Africa on the development and implementation of a Teachers Training Workshop dealing with the Arts and Culture curriculum [Manda Bester (Project manager), Charlotte Schaer (from the CDP), Helene Smuts, and myself].
  • 2007/8: Worked as a part time lecturer at the University of Pretoria, giving a variety of lectures dealing with New Genre Public Art and Community Art Projects.
  • 2008: Throughout 2008 I worked as project manager of the Centenary Rose Collaborative Community Art Project, with the University of Pretoria’s Art Department and the Department of Corporate Communication and Marketing.
  • 2013: Project Management Consultant, Greatmore Art Studios, Cape Town.
  • 2014: Works as an art tour guide for Ellerman House Hotel in Cape Town.

    Academic Achievements

  • 2001-2004: Distinction in practical work.


  • 2002: Archneer’s award for highest achiever in Sculpture.
  • 2003: Archneer’s award for highest overall achievement.
  • New Signatures Art Competition, overall winner. Pretoria Arts Museum.
  • 2004: Eduardo Villa Sculpture bursary for best achievement in sculpture final year.
  • 2009: Lorenzo il Magnifico award for fourth place in Installation art at the Biennale Internazionale Dell’ Art Contemporanea. Florence, Italy.


  • 2004: University of Pretoria, Law department, Kinetic Sculpture, Pretoria.
  • 2008: National Library, Kwere Kwere, Radio installation, Pretoria.
  • 2008: National Library, Illumination, Light installation, Pretoria.
  • 2014: Private collection, Goliath Heron, Bronze sculpture, Cape Town.

    Group Exhibitions

  • 2001-2003: University of Pretoria, Fine Arts Department’s annual students art exhibition, Pretoria.
  • 2002: WAM, SASOL Wax Art Competition exhibition, Sasolburg.
  • 2003: SASOL New Signatures Art Competition exhibition. Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria. Ekurhuleni Fine Arts Awards, Competition exhibition. Kempton Park recreational hall, Kempton Park.
  • 2004: ABSA L'Atelier Competition exhibition. ABSA Tower, Johannesburg. Ekurhuleni Fine Arts Awards, Competition exhibition. Kempton Park recreational hall, Kempton Park. Final Year Student exhibition. Technical Building on campus, University of Pretoria.
  • 2007: ABSA L'Atelier Competition exhibition. ABSA Tower, Johannesburg.
  • 2007: Visual, Group exhibition with the artists: Daniel Stompie Selebi, Motsamai Moloi, Shanti Coetzer, Rupert de Beer, and myself. Platform on 18th, Pretoria.
  • 2009: Florence Biennale. Fortesta da Basso, Florence, Italy.
  • 2010: Fiji International Biennale. Sheraton Fiji Resort, Nadi, Fiji.
  • 2010: ABSA L'Atelier Competition exhibition. ABSA Tower, Johannesburg.
  • 2012: Aardklop Nationale Kunstefees. Presedent Pretorius Museum, Potchefstroom.
  • 2013: Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees. ABSA exhibition, Oudshoorn.
  • 2013: Om die hasepad te kies. Die Breytenbach Galery, Wellington.
  • 2013: SCULPTORS@FRIED. FRIED Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria.
  • 2013: New Voices II. Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg.
  • 2014: Play. Nirox Sculpture Park, Krugersdorp.
  • 2014: Art week. Greatmore Art Studios, Cape Town.

    Solo Exhibitions

  • 2007: Between Two Silences, Masters exhibition. FRIED contemporary art gallery, Pretoria.
  • 2008: Celestial Dream. The Camera Workshop, Pretoria.

    Bibliography (Reviews)

  • Elfriede Dreyer. 2008. Unlocking identities in globalising South African art.
  • Jeanne van Eeden. 2008. Visuality/Commentry. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.
  • Giovanni Cordoni. 2009. Biennale Internazionale Dell’ Arte Contemporanea. Florence: Grafica La Nave
  • Pam Fourie. 2010. Talita sheds light on community art. Tabletalk Wed 17 February 2010.

    Bibliography (Television Appearances)

  • Kunskafee. kykNet. 13 July 2003. Interview: Melt Sieberhagen

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