#MeetOurLecturers: Wiehan de Jager – Artist, Senior Communication Design and Illustration Lecturer
Wiehan de Jager
Artist, Senior Communication Design and Illustration Lecturer
With nearly 20 years of experience, he prides himself on being a conceptual explorer and visual interpreter as well as a print, paper, mark-making, typography and packaging fanatic. He is a communication design specialist, consultant and teacher with award-winning results. Wiehan works from his studio dialogue8, based in the charming town of Riebeek Kasteel, a short drive from Cape Town. He manages local clients as well as international corporates based in the UK, the United States, Australia and Germany. Here, he also spends a lot of time drawing, painting and creating traditional and digital media artwork and art prints that explore various conceptual ideas.
Here are two of his recent projects:
It’s a beautiful day to play
At the beginning of 2021, together with his daughter Jewel (then 4) and his son Nathan (then 2), Wiehan completed a children’s picture story book called “It’s a beautiful day to play”.
This project was co-conceived, co-developed and co-designed together with Jewel and Nathan. The children were included in the development process from the very beginning, allowing for them to have a voice in various aspects of this project. From ideation, and creative development to finalising the project, their input was hugely valuable in shaping the project.
A prominent characteristic of the book is that its shape is round. For quite some time, Nathan read books upside down, and because of this, the book has been developed in a round shape; there is no up or down, it’s always the right side up. Furthermore, the book can be read from any side, there is no front or back!
“For all of us, this project has been an extraordinary journey together. There is so much we can benefit from when working together. Through this project, we challenged, discovered, and celebrated each other’s creativity, intellect, and individuality. I am overjoyed to have had the privilege to do this together with my amazingly talented children!” Wiehan explains.
Hidden Expanse is a series of artist books. These books were created to capture the serenity and magnificence in natural environments not frequented by humans. Inspiration was drawn from various remote locations in the Richtersveld and the Kgalagadi. The books are made to be interacted with, to be opened and closed in order to expose and hide the contents. They urge the viewer to explore and inspect them and afterwards close them up again to protect them and keep them unspoilt in secrecy.
The books were exhibited in Berlin, Germany at the 2021 Paper Positions international art fair for works on paper.
Medium: Inside: Mixed media (monotype printing, acrylic paint, ink, collage, charcoal, stitching and blind embossing) on Fabriano Rosaspina 285gsm. Cover: Acrylic and collage on board, leather strip. Dimensions: Folded: 10,5 x 12 x 1.5 cm .Flat: 100 x 12 cm.Edition: 2021
Some of Wiehan’s awards include:
• SABS Design Achievers Awards – finalist 2009, 2008, 2007
• DMA Assegai Awards – winner 2009, 2008
• MCC Packaging Competition – 3 finalists 2019, 5 finalists and 1 Bronze 2018
• Loerie Awards – 6 finalists 2020, 2 finalists and 1 Bronze 2009
• Pendoring Awards – 2 finalists and 1 Silver 2020
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