Ronél De Jager’s (b. 1985 – Johannesburg, South Africa) obtained a BTech (Fine Arts) Degree at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria in 2006. She currently lives and works in Johannesburg. De Jager’s work shifts between painting, sculpture and installation. She deals with concepts of time, environmental concerns and with personal narratives as microcosms of broader social issues.
In her oeuzvre, transience is the constant, change the leitmotif, both conceptually and formally. Her works demonstrate the continuous transformation to which every form is subjected, and reflect on theeternal processes of becoming and of passing away. In this, she resonates with philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel: “By ‘nature’, we mean the endless connection of things, the uninterrupted production andnegation of forms, the flowing unity of occurrence that is expressed in the continuity of temporal and spatial existence. Matter, every kind of material, is constantly in a process of transformation.”
De Jager says, “I’m continuously fascinated with time on a grand scale, through ideas of evolution of the world around us, geological time and the antiquity of the earth. But I also want these histories to speak of a contemporary moment and show the response from the earth to our presence.”
In her paintings, De Jager’s abiding interest in translating photographic and video imagery into ambiguous, suggestive paint marks enables her to explore liminal states. Blurry paintings imply movement, as if to explore a kind of spatial liminality: unclear landscapes suggest rapid movement. The disturbance created by this is unsettling, as the details of the landscape resist our grasp. In the place of a full understanding, the viewer is left with a mere sensation, an intense yet transient impression of the scenes De Jager explores.