Verna du Toit was born in 1976 in the town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She is a symbolic fine artist.
She received her first formal training in 1993 at the institute of arts at Russell Road College, Port Elizabeth. She completed a 3 year course, at the end of which she received the Rectors medallion for the best student in Art and Design.
After her studies in 1997 she became the assistant decorative painter and designer for Rica Gallerelli. In 2000 she worked as a sales and picture consultant at Keith Johns Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth. It was whilst working at the gallery and being surrounded by art that she realised she wanted to pursue a career as a full-time artist. In the following years she solely focused on commissions. During this time that she was approached by an art collector and dealer, Neil Dorward who commissioned her to paint wildlife paintings which he exported to America.
In 2003 she relocated to Cape Town and had her first solo exhibition at 38 Special Gallery.
As a young artist she primarily focused on commercial work, painting mostly African themes which she exhibited at various smaller galleries as well as Houtbay and the Lisa King Gallery in Cape Town. It was at one of these galleries that a German Art Collector and Gallery owner, Joachim Spelling initially took interest in her work and in 2009 invited her to have a solo exhibition in his hometown ‘’Furth im Wald” in Germany.
With time her passion for surrealism and symbolism started to emerge and after relocating back to Port Elizabeth at the end of 2009, she decided to break away from the commercial side and focus on her true heart’s desire.
Today her earlier works can be found all over the world although most of her recent works are collected by Joachim Spelling and can be viewed at 13 Hof in Cape Town.
“Looking on my journey as an artist it is clear to see how my art represents every aspect of my life. As I have evolved, so has my visual expressions. Being inquisitive, passionate and empathetic by nature, I have always been in search for a deeper reason for being. With time I have come to learn that my art is a mirror of my own life, a way for me to reflect and help peel away the onion layers to get to the core of my being. What comes to the surface and eventually finds its way onto the canvas is simply my journey through life, my actions, reactions and that which I have created. My story is told through using varies archetypes, symbolism and metaphors. It contains both elements of shadow and light, masculine and feminine. It is in this process of creation that I find my deepest sense of belonging, understanding and peace.”
INSTITUTE: Russell Road College, Port Elizabeth
YEARS COMPLETED: January 1993 – June 1996
QUALIFICATIONS: National Certificate Art & Design N6
AWARDS: Rectors Medallion for the best Student in Art & Design N6
SUBJECTS: History of Art, Art of Drawing, Textile Design, Graphic Processes
2003 – Group exhibition, La Jolla Art Association, California
First solo exhibition, 38 Special Gallery, Cape Town
2004 – Group exhibition, Vineyard Gallery, Cape Town
2005 – Group exhibition, Hout Bay Gallery, Cape Town
2006 – Group exhibition, The Lisa King Gallery, Cape Town
2007 – Group exhibition, The Lisa King Gallery, Cape Town
2008 – Group exhibition, The Lisa King Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Art Space Africa, Germany
2009 – Group exhibition, The Lisa King Gallery, Cape Town
Solo exhibition, Kunst, Musik & Knodel, Germany
Group exhibition, US Art Gallery, Stellenbosch
2010 – Group exhibition, The Lisa King Gallery, Cape Town
2011 – Group exhibitions, Artec, Port Elizabeth
2013 – Group exhibition, Absa KKNK, Oudtshoorn
2015 – Group exhibition, Committee’s Choice, Art B Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town
2016 – Group exhibition, The Framed Feather and Art shopper, Cape Town
2017 – Group Exhibition at the Woordfees in Stellenbosch, Titled ‘Bosch in Africa’, curated by Sandra Hanekom.
2017 – Group exhibition by ‘Clare, Theo, Johann and Friends’ at Art B, Bellville, Capetown
2017 – Group exhibition at UJ Gallery in Johannesburg, Titled ‘Rethinking Kakotopia’, curated by Derek Zietsman
2018 – Group exhibition, Tiny Treasures, Art B Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town
2018 – Group exhibition titled “Flight”, Art B Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town
2018 – Group exhibition titled “This is not an exhibition” curated by Avril Gardiner, Liebrecht Art Gallery
2018 – Group exhibition Titled “See Art: Contemporary drawing”, curated by Derek Zietsman, Gallery 2, Parkwood, Johannesburg
2019 – Group exhibition Titled , CHUI-TA-KA-MA, curated by, Anna Liebenberg, Johann van Heerden’s Art Gallery, 593 Jaqueline Drive, Garsfontein1, JHB, South Africa
Media and Publications:
Article in De Kat March/April 2017 edition