Jacques Dhont

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Full Biography

Jacques Dhont was born in the Congo in 1959.  His parents moved to South Africa in 1967 and settled in Somerset-West.  After studying painting at the University of Stellenbosch, he completed a double major in painting and sculpture at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) in 1989.

Soon after completing his degree, Jacques moved to the Overberg region where he could work close to nature, living in abandoned farm houses without electricity or running water.  It was here that he first started experimenting with the creation of sculptures using woven wattle bark. (The black wattle is an alien and invasive tree species which used to grow in forests on the banks of the Riviersonderend.)  Jacques mastered the weaving technique and the works created during this period speak of their inspiration of water and woodlands.

Fascinated with processes of deconstruction and regeneration in Nature, Jacques started to incorporate more natural media as well as found objects.  In a series of sculptures created in 2000, bark figures play with a series of “toys” constructed with animal bones and found wire.  Some of the figures wear metal masks and sheep skin is woven into the bark to emphasize the opposition between modern and ancient cultures.

Jacques’ fascination with eerie and ancient water creatures was demonstrated in his 2003 exhibition of relief sculptures carved from camphor wood, sometimes painted in vivid acrylic, portraying imaginary or real life forms such as trilobites, star fish and coral.

A 2006 solo exhibition dealt with different forms of blindness : blind rage, blind love, blind justice, ambition and fear.  The exhibition comprised figures wrought in woven bark and skin with metal, wood and sisal.

A joint exhibition with painter Nicolaas Maritz in 2009 included various masked and winged figures as well as figures dealing with social satire. All these sculptures were made of woven bark, with metal, skin, bone and wood.

Jacques has also been experimenting with new media, particularly stone and bronze.  He has completed a series of horse heads in bronze, a giant horse head in wonder stone and several sculptures in marble.

For the past couple years Jacques has been living within the beautiful Klein Drakenstein Mountains in Paarl, where he is learning to juggle his art and helping to care for his lively young children.


Public Sculpture

Oliewenhuis, Bloemfontein

Nerox 20 Stellenbosch, Two Decades of South African Sculptures



1982-1985           University of Stellenbosch, BA Fine Art (Painting)

1987-1990           Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT (Diploma in Sculpture)


Group Exhibitions

1989            Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch

1992                    University of Stellenbosch, “Sculptors of the Western Cape”

1992                    South African National Gallery, “Made in Wood”, Cape Town

1993                    Standard Bank Arts Festival, “Images of the Western Cape”, Grahamstown

1993            South African Association of Arts, Western Cape

1994                    World Economics Forum, Devos, Switzerland

1995                    Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch

1996                    The GAP, Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

1997                    The GAP, Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

2001            Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch, “Equus”

2007            Critics Choice AVA

2009            Grand Provance, Nicolas Maritz

2010            View from the South, Everard Read

2012            Mapping Sculpture, Tokara

Quartier Francaise with Greg Kerr

2014            Sculptures at the Delicatessen

20 Stellenbosch,  Two Decades of South African Sculptures

2016            DL Art Gallery San Juan Puerto Rico

2017            Breytenbach Centre

Linteloo Holland

2018            Eclectica Gallery, Winter Show


Solo Exhibitions

1998                    Mark Coetzee Fine Art cabinet, Cape Town

2000            Karen McKerron Gallery, Johannesburg

2006            Erdman Gallery

2006            University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery

2018            Art at the Clock Tower



South african National Gallery, Cape Town

Sasol Museum, Stellenbosch

Private Collections in Germany, France, Belgium, USA


GT Ferreira




Large 3D mural for Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, Mitchells Plain