Jan Vermeiren


Jan Vermeiren is an artist whose work bridges two rich and vastly different continents. On the one hand there is his European heritage; on the other the profound influence of Africa, which has become his home when he moved to South Africa in 1976. Jan was born in Bornem, Belgium in 1949 and studied art full-time at the Academy of St Niklaas, the Academy of Mechelen and the National Hoger institute in Antwerp. After being invited to teach lithography in 1973 in South Africa, he decided to stay on indefinitely. Jan was profoundly influenced by the extensive range of colours he found in local land – and cityscapes, compared to the relative blandness of the European spectrum, Belgium in particular. His work is an expression not of outer reality, but of the subconscious, and it is this instinctive approach that gives his paintings their dreamlike, spiritual quality. He asks the viewer to react on the same subconscious and spontaneous level, both to the form and content of his work. With his paintings he aims to bring the viewer into the spirit of Africa, thereby encouraging a deeper understanding of the African identity. Jan Vermicide’s work can be found in the acclaimed South African Sanlam and SASOL collections, as well as the South African museums in Pretoria, Durban and Bloemfontein. Abroad his work can be found on display in Belgium and Yugoslavian museums. "All the other colours are just colours, but purple seems to have a soul. Purple is not just a noun and an adjective but also a verb – when you look at it, it’s looking back at you"Uniek Swain