Yvette Hess was born in 1986, in the Wynberg Military Hospital in Cape Town, to a father who was a Firefighter in the Navy and a mother who worked as a Nurse. In 1993, the family relocated to Sasolburg. Yvette started to experience feelings of being displaced as the first person of colour in the school. This would grow to inform her work throughout her artistic career. Following a traumatic event at the age of 7 she experienced disassociation as a form of protection.
Hess embarked on a career in finance, showing aptitude in bridging and connecting concepts, working as an IT associate in large auditing firms. In 2015, she left the corporate world after her third hospitalization for Depressive and Psychotic episodes triggered by the difficult birth of her son.
Her therapist suggested she take on painting to create space for herself. She began to visually document the lived experience of her disorder and her past traumas in an attempt to understand the fractured nature of her mind and her place in current ‘reality’ and collective spaces. Hess has exhibited at the AVA, Gallery MOMO, and Eclectica Contemporary and achieved Top 70 in the art.b Gallery Vuleka art competition in 2021. In 2019, she attempted a year of art school but found the logistical stressors triggering. After subsequent hospitalization during the year of study, she opted to return to work from home.
She currently lives on a farm in Ladysmith, with her husband, their three sons and puppy, Jackson.