artist’s statement

My current project deals in various ways with landscape and the increasing concerns being expressed worldwide about the effect of the Anthropocene era on nature and ecological systems - the measurable human impact on the natural world. My site-specific installation, entitled “The Weight of the Dead” (2017-2018), uses pieces of dry tree roots and trunks, lit so that the shadows are integral to the work, together with a meditative sound installation, to communicate some of these concerns.

In my series of small “landscape bronzes” I invite the viewer to examine broken and damaged branches, twigs and uprooted trees close-up and intimately: the small scale of the works allows the viewer to see the detail and beauty even in small, broken things. The works explore the idea that something apparently valueless is transformed into an item of value when it is remade in a different material, in this case, bronze. The series uses the quiet strangeness of dead and damaged tree roots and branches, suspended against a wall and lit so that their shadows become an integral part of the work, to subtly undermine what the viewer may expect to see, inviting the viewer to reconsider his or her assumptions about damaged nature. In my series of screen prints I use the dramatic shadows cast by suspended tree roots and branches, emphasising their strangeness, to explore similar themes. Other than installation, sculpture and printmaking, I also draw and paint.


Marian Hester (1971- ) is an artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. After an 18-year career as a lawyer and investment banking executive, Marian changed direction in 2014 to focus on her art practice, completing her fine art honours degree through the University of South Africa (Unisa) in 2018. 

Instagram: @marianhester |  +27 (79) 898 4180


Group Exhibitions

2019      “Artybollocks” group exhibition, Johannesburg.

2018      “Forward? Forward! Forward...” group exhibition, Stellenbosch University Museum, Stellenbosch.

2018      Assemblage “Inktober” group exhibition, Johannesburg.

2018      “The Unexpected” group exhibition, The Viewing Room Art Gallery, Pretoria.

2018      Turbine Art Fair, Intethe Gallery, Johannesburg.

2018      Intethe Gallery group exhibition, Johannesburg.

2018      “Silent Spaces” joint exhibition, Johannesburg.     

2017      Kgorong Gallery examination exhibition, University of South Africa, Pretoria.

2017      Turbine Art Fair, Intethe Gallery, Johannesburg. 

2017      Association of Arts members’ exhibition, Pretoria.

2017      Cité Internationale des Arts former residents’ group exhibition, The Tank Gallery, Stellenbosch. 

2017      Intethe Gallery group exhibition, Johannesburg.
2016      Turbine Art Fair, Intethe Gallery, Johannesburg.

2013      Cité Internationale des Arts “open studios” exhibition, Paris. 


2018 Sylt Foundation Collection, Sylt, Germany and Johannesburg, South Africa.

2018 Various private collections: USA and South Africa.

2017 Various private collections: Belgium and South Africa.

2016 Various private collections: USA, UK and South Africa.


2018 “The Weight of The Dead: Birches” installation commission, Sylt Foundation, Johannesburg.

2017 Landscape painting commission, private collector, South Africa.

2016 Portrait painting commission, private collector, UK.


2017 Top final year art student, University of South Africa: Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology, Pretoria.

2016 Certificate of Merit, University of South Africa: Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology, Pretoria - for meritorious work produced in the field of Visual Arts.

Artist articles

2017 – The Weight of the Dead, catalogue essay: final year examination exhibition catalogue. which catalogue???)

Artist Residencies

2019 Research trip at the Sylt Foundation, Sylt, Germany.

2016 Residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.


2014 – 2018 BA (Visual Arts) degree – The University of South Africa

1994 LLB degree - University of Stellenbosch [do you want this?]

1992 BA degree – University of Stellenbosch

Previous Career Experience 

Admitted Attorney, High Court of South Africa (1998-present). Currently on non-practicing roll.

Chairman, non-executive director and trustee, various companies (2002 – present).

Managing Director, Co-General Counsel (Head of Legal Departments)| Barclays Africa (Absa) Corporate and Investment Bank (2012 – 2013).

Various investment banking legal & management roles (1999 - 2013).

Attorney (1996 – 1999).