Namibia’s Queen of Abstract Art
Artist, activist, and educator Nicky Marais creates bright, bold abstract artwork using an eclectic vocabulary of shapes and patterns. Her work is mostly inspired by the landscape of her home, Namibia, and her interest in the social and political history of the Namibian people, as well as the rich culture that surrounds her. Her paintings bring shapes to life, shimmer with colour, and elicit curiosity in audiences.
Born in a small mining town in South Africa to a geologist father and an artist mother, Marais moved to Namibia when she was seven-years-old. Her parents thrived in the inspiring landscape, which strongly influenced Marais as a young girl. “My mother collected everything, and was interested in everything. She worked extremely hard painting in her studio, as well as outside in the incredible desert landscapes of Namibia. She was a successful painter and illustrator, and was an important role-model for me. Choosing to be an artist just seemed like the best possible life choice. Both my daughters are now also pursuing artistic careers, so it continues to be the best choice.”
Marais returned to South Africa for a brief stint, obtaining her degree in Fine Art from