Chrisél Attewell


Artist Profile

Chrisél Attewell was born in 1994 in South Africa. She received her BA Fine Arts degree from the University of Pretoria in 2016. Chrisél was selected as a Sasol New Signatures finalist in 2016 and 2017. In 2017 she was chosen to participate in the Assemblage Peer Mentoring Program and the RMB Talent Unlocked exhibition at the Turbine Art Fair. Hereafter she continued to showcase her work in multiple group shows around South Africa where her work has become part of various national and international collections. In 2018 and 2019 she participated in several group exhibitions in Johannesburg and was selected as a Top 100 finalist for the ABSA L’atelier Art Competition. She had three solo exhibitions: “Architectus Konstruksie” at the Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees (KKNK), “Under Construction” at Assemblage in Braamfontein, and “Substratum” at Lizamore & Associates in Rosebank. Attewell was selected as a 2018 recipient of the Young Female Residency Award with The Project Space, founded by Benon Lutaaya.

Substratrum - Chrisel van der MerweSeries | Substratum, 2018 – 2019

a) An underlying layer or substance, in particular, a layer of rock or soil beneath the surface of the ground
b) A foundation or basis of something, an underlying truth.

“Substratum” implies that the viewer might learn about the underlying truth of something, a truth that the artist observes in her milieu and daily life, which manifests itself in the artist’s work. Through diverse media such as painting, printmaking, bronze and even construction materials, Attewell presents a world of surfaces constructed in her controlled-accidental environments.

under construction - chrisel van der merweSeries | Under Construction, 2018

Under Construction is an exhibition that takes shape in the form of experimental printmaking, sculpture, and installation. In this exhibition, Chrisél, a fairly new resident of the city of Johannesburg, moves through the socially constructed spaces of the city. She investigates her relationship with the city as a young female artist.

With new development, and the decay of the old, the city is in a constant state of flux, its boundaries are forever mutating. Once bounded and shaped, this socially constructed space, in turn, also influences social relations. The city is socially produced and is socially reproducing.

Architectus Konstruksie chrisel van der merweSeries | Architectus Konstruksie, 2018

Architectus Konstruksie is an experimental and ongoing project by Chrisél Attewell. Architectus Konstruksie is a body of work that plays on the notion of construction, the documentation of the creation of the city, and the capturing of moments, memories and history. The body of work mainly focusses on drypoint etching prints and sculptures created from the copper plates used to create these prints.

Interrogating The Surface - Chrisel van der MerweSeries | Interrogating The Surface, 2016

Interrogating the surface is a body of work in which I deal with the experience of catharsis through the analysis of the painted surface. The painting process allows for a direct and intimate relationship between artist and artwork. In my painting process, the layers of paint serve as an outlet of emotion. In an attempt to make sense of the emotions felt at the time, I map and analyse the expressive marks through cutting into the surface of the paint. Through doing this, I am not only interrogating the surface of the paint, but I am also interrogating the surface of the mind – as the marks applied to the surface of the canvass, become a memory of the state of the mind of the artist when they painted the work.”





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