Wessel van Huyssteen has been active as an artist, community arts educator, lecturer, curator and film maker since 1986. He has been nominated and won several local and international documentary film awards. In 2016 he started painting full time and has since held three solo exhibitions and attended three international residencies as invited artist. He was also invited by the SA Association of Contemporary Art to attend a two month residency at Entabeni Farm in Knysna, South Africa as well as the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (CHWHS). He completed his Masters of Art in Fine Arts at Wits University in 2017 and passed with distinction. He has collaborated in several South African group exhibitions and his works are in several public collections, amongst other the South African National Art Bank collection in Bloemfontein, Glo’Art International collection in Maastricht, Belgium, the Philippe and Kinga de Chandelar Petro Collection in Hungary and the Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park, South Africa.
He is mainly interested in the landscape and the concepts of place, space and non-place.
He held his first solo exhibition titled, How to paint a highway, at Point of Order Project space at Wits University in 2017. This exhibition consisted of a series of large scale watercolor on paper paintings, inspired by travels on the N1. He investigated this structure within the landscape as both a unifying and dystopian South African space.
In August 2018 he held his second solo exhibition, Under a cobalt sky, at Gallery2 in Johannesburg.
In August 2020 he held his third solo exhibition, Between the Grid and the Mark at Gallery2 in Johannesburg
His next solo exhibition, The Stitch and the Din, will be held at Gallery2 in September 2023.
In 2021 he he co-founded ark Contemporary. This is an artist collective situated in the town of Rosendal in the Eastern Free State, South Africa.
2022 – 2023. December – April. Pushing Boundaries. Group exhibition of ark collective. Ark Contemporary.
2022. April – June 2022. Equilibrium. Ark Contemporary. A group exhibition by FSAC curated by Karen Brusch.
2021. September. Founded ark contemporary gallery, Rosendal, South Africa.
2021. SculptX ’21. Melrose Art Gallery, Johannesburg.
2021. September – November. Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park, (CHWHS). South Africa.
2021. April. Art for Global Regeneration, Ojai, California. USA.
2021. February. International Watercolour Art Fair. Art Family, India.
2021. January/February. Summer Salon 20/21. Group exhibition at Nel Gallery on Long Street. Cape Town.
2020. September – Latitudes Art Fair. Represented by Gallery2. Online International.
2020. 15 August – 8 September. Solo Exhibition, Between the grid and the mark. Gallery2, Johannesburg
2020. July – August. Group exhibition, Journey of thehttps://www.everard-read-franschhoek.co.za/exhibition/62/ Mind. Everard Read Gallery, Franschoek, South Africa.
2020, 20 Feb-22 March, Art Night. A celebration of Queer art to coincide with Cape Town Pride. Curated by Luan Nel.
2019. 11-14 July 2019 – RMB Turbine Art Fair. Represented on fair by Free State Art Collective and Gallery 2.
2019. 1-6 July 2019 – Betwixt and Between – An exhibition by the Free State Art Collective curated by Karen Brusch for the Free State Arts Festival. In September 2019 Exhibition travelled to Gallery2 in Johannesburg.
2019. 1-31 August 2019 – Invited artist to attend international residency programme at Budapest Art Factory.
2018 – SEE ART: Contemporary Drawing – Curated by Derek Zietsman – Gallery 2. (artist)
2018 – Under a Cobalt Sky – Solo exhibition at Gallery 2. (artist)
2018 – Bank 001: Emerging Contemporaries – In Toto Gallery. (artist)
2017 – Emerging Visions: Telling the South African Story. The launch of the South African National Art Bank. Oliewenhuis Art Museum. (artist)
2017 – Masters Exhibition How to Paint a Highway – Point of Order, Wits University. (artist)
2014 – Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum (artist).
2014 – Showcase 2 – Baylis Gallery curated by Gordon Froud (artist).
2007 – Produce/Direct/Edit film “Miss Lellerap Raw” in collaboration with Isolde Krams.
2006 – Isolde Krams Solo Exhibition – ABSA Art Gallery JHB – Wessel van Huyssteen Produced/Directed/Edited the film “It is so beautiful it almost looks artificial” exhibited as part of this exhibition.
2004 – Perspective 30 – Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery (Artist)
1998 – Katlehong Art Centre Artists – Sandton Civic Gallery (Artist)
1998 – Rewind, Fast-Forward – Van Reukum Museum, Holland. (Coordinator)
1997 – Dreams and Clouds – Cultural Centre, Stockholm (Co-Curator)
1994 -1995 – Gay Rights Rites Re-Writes – Martin Melckhuis in Cape Town, Oliewenhuis Art Gallery, Bloemfontein and Gertude Posel Art Gallery. Wits University (Artist/Co-Curator)
1985 – SA Students Exhibition – Grahamstown Arts Festival (Artist)
1984 – Rolfes Impressions – Johannesburg Art Gallery (Artist)
Education and career details
2022 – Founded ark contemporary artist collective.
2021 – Judge New Breed art competition, Oliewenhuis art museum, Bloemfontein.
2017 – Acquired Master of Arts in Fine Arts (Cum Laude) Wits University.
2014 – 2018 Judge, PPC Imaginarium Arts Awards.
2011 – 2013 Produced the C&CI Student film Awards.
2009 – 2015 mentored the documentary film course at “Big Fish School of Film Making”.
2004 – 2015 – Founded Tin Rage TV Productions. Produced 17 feature documentaries – 72 part docu/drama series “Solving It” for SABC3. 6 part docu/drama series “Medical Errors” for SABC2.
2001 – Freelance Producer, Reuters Television and Channel 4.
1998 – 2003 Joined Tin Rage Productions. Co-produced/Direct/Write 13-part South African literary magazine program “Between the Lines” for eTV. Produced numerous documentaries for local and international TV. Produce/Direct/Write 26-part series ”Life’s Bazaar” for SABC3.
1998 – SA coordinator. “Rewind, Fast-Forward” at the Van Reukum Museum, Holland.
1997-98 – SA coordinator “Dreams and Clouds” South African cultural festival at Kulturhuset, Stockholm. Festival coincided with Stockholm, Cultural Capital of Europe ‘98. Co-curated this festival’s contemporary fine arts exhibition and produced film festival.
1997 – SFI (Swedish school for immigrants) Acquired language diploma in entry level Swedish.
1995-96 – Co-Curated the first National Gay and Lesbian Art Exhibition: “Gay Rights, Rites, Re-Writes” Exhibition toured Cape Town, Oliewenhuis in Bloemfontein, and the Gertrude Posel Gallery at Wits University
1992 – 1996 – Principle of Visual Arts and Crafts Academy – Katlehong/Germiston.
1991 – 1992 – Education Officer at the Katlehong Art Centre
1990 – Acquired BA Honours in Art History – Johannesburg University
1989 – 90 – Illustrator. Frontline Magazine and Maskew Miller Longman Publishers
1988 – Moved to Johannesburg and worked as Art Director on numerous films and TV drama series until 1996
1986 – Art Teacher – Bloemfontein Technical College
1985 – Acquired BA Fine Arts Cum Laude (Painting & Drawing) – Free State University
1984: Merit Award – Rolfe’s Impressions ’84 – Johannesburg Art Gallery
1995: USIS Scholarship: Visited US on two-month research trip.
2000: Avanti – Won Craft Award: Best research – “Between the Lines” eTV. (Producer/Researcher)
2005: SAFTA (South African Film and Television Award) – Won Best Factual Entertainment – “Solving It 1” SABC3 (Producer/Director)
2005: SAFTA – Nominated: Best Feature Documentary – “3rd Sex” (Producer/Director/Writer)
2008: SAFTA – Nominated Best Factual Entertainment – Solving It 3 (Producer/Director/Writer)
2009: SAFTA – Nominated Best Feature Documentary – Custodians of the Country Side (Producer/Director/Writer/DOP/Editor)
2009: SAFTA – Nominated Best Cinematography in a Feature Documentary – Custodians of the Country Side. (Producer/Director/Writer/DOP/Editor)
2010: Won Best Documentary Film (International Category) in Turkey at the International Istanbul Architecture and Urbanism Film Festival 2010. “Litshe le Golide”. The film was produced by Guy Adam Ailion & Andrew Ross Bell. (Executive Producer/Mentor)
2011: SAFTA – Nominated best documentary short. Playground of Carnage (Producer/Director)
2012: SAFTA – Nominated best cinematography – The Karaoke Killers (Producer/Writer)
2012: SAFTA – Nominated best factual entertainment – Secret to Survival (Producer)
2012: SAFTA – Nominated Best Documentary Short – The Karaoke Killer (Producer/Writer)
2012: DSTV Film Awards – Nominated ‘Best Cinematography’, ‘Best Sound’ and ‘Best Newcomer’. – A Procura de Pancho (Executive Producer)
2012: DSTV Film Awards – Nominated for best newcomer. Umbrellaman – (Executive Producer)
2012: DSTV Film Awards – Won Best Newcomer -A Procura de Pancho – (Executive Producer)
2013: Won – Montreal Black Film Festival – Best Documentary Short – My Last Swim (Mentor)
2014: SAFTA – Won best Cinematographer and Editor in a Documentary Short – Waterborne – (Mentor & Executive Producer)
2014 – Nominated – Golden Panda – Best documentary Short – Imbokodo (The Rock) (Mentor)
2014 – Won -Silicon Valley African Film Festival – Best newcomer for a documentary short – (Mentor)
2017 – Glo’Art International Residency – Maastricht
2019- Invited Artist, Budapest Art Factory.
2020 – Invited Artist, SA Foundation for Contemporary art. Entabeni Farm, Knysna.