Hannetjie de Clercq lives in a quiet countryside village, Riebeek-Kasteel, in the Western Cape, South Africa. Her career started at the age of 18 in Pretoria, where she exhibited her work successfully for the first time. Since then she has exhibited her paintings in all the main centres in South Africa and Namibia.
Her work is unique in the South African art sphere and shows a juxtaposition of emotions, of things ancient and modern, they are strongly sensual pictures, sometimes light-hearted and often tinged with a sense of sadness. Her fascination for the purity of medieval iconography interconnected with 20th century technology, social realities and the ambiguity of surrealism is obvious.
The preferred media that she works in is tempera, watercolour and oil on canvas and her inspiration for the special technique she uses in painting, comes from frescoes and icons from the middle ages, especially Giotto’s work. She also finds inspiration in the intuitiveness of her African soul seated in European history.
She feels that an over explanation of her work would render it impotent and therefore does not title her work. For her, the beauty of art is the interaction of the viewers with their subjective personal view with a specific painting, to find meaning in the imagery.
Hannetjie has done illustrations for many books, the latest being the popular astrologer, Petra du Preez’s book, Horoscope 2002.
Hannetjie de Clercq has been acknowledged as one of South Africa’s top artists by SASOL where her work forms part of the impressive SASOL ART COLLECTION, where she shares this honour with other famous South African artists like Walter Battis, Gregoire Boonzaier, Frans Claerhout, Robert Hodgins, Maggie Laubser, J H Pierneef, Alexander Rose-Innes, Irma Stern, Jan Vermeiren, Gordon Vorster and Louis Jansen van Vuuren, amongst others.
Her paintings can be found in many public, corporate and private collections all over South Africa as well as in private collections in London, Paris, Amsterdam and New York.