Niël Jonker was born in 1971 on a farm in the Little Karoo district of Oudtshoorn, and grew up seeking solace in the endless wonders contained in nature. After matriculating from Oudtshoorn High School with a distinction in art, he later went on to being awarded the most promising student award from Foundation Art School, Cape Town. Niël graduated with distinctions in painting and sculpture from Technikon Natal, Durban in 1993 and his name has since become synonymous with KKNK (Klein Karoo Nasionale Kuns Fees) and other acclaimed art festivals. Niël’s work has been showcased in top art galleries and exhibitions and he forms part of the Baardskeerdersbos Art Route which is a popular annual event.
Niël Jonker’s focus remains on figurative observations from life which he then casts in bronze as well as candle wax and white cement. Sculptural portraiture is metamorphosing into a more substantial part of Niël’s work and he has started accepting commissions from collectors that specifically desire his unique approach and style. Niël was commissioned by the ABSA Cape Epic to create the bronze trophy for the winning team. Another notable highlight of his career was meeting the Archbishop Desmond Tutu where he presented him with a bronze sculpture to commemorate his 80th birthday.
"Observing Niël Jonker´s work is engaging with art which is made by a person who can see, and a painter who can paint." - Carin Goodwin
Niël Jonker delves into landscape, seascape, figurative and still-life paintings, which are available to view and for sale on his website. Expect to pay between R2,800 and R65,000 for one of Niël’s artworks. The paintings can be supplied with an elegant solid wood frame for an additional fee (on request).
Niël Jonker’s popular and sought-after, bread making workshops take place at his home in Baardskeerdersbos and are undoubtedly a unique social experience for those with a passion for ovencraft. The two-day event is filled with music, good food, wine and friendly faces as well as lots of baking. A pizza contest and a stint at the local Stanford Sunset Market to sell the bread you have just baked adds to the vibe of the whole experience. This fun workshop focuses on emphasizing the benefits of slow fermentation, whole-grain ingredients, and process consciousness. An advanced understanding of bread-making core principles are covered while apprenticing in a fully functional artisan bakehouse with a 3 x 2 meter wood-fired brick oven. Booking is essential due to limited space.
"The most important tool in the bakery is the baker's body." - Niël Jonker - March 2009
Niël Jonker’s passion for nature and his love for the picturesque Baardskeerdersbos region is clearly evident in all his artistic endeavours. In addition to his popular ‘Landscape Painting Days,’ which he hosts on the last Saturday of most months, Niël presents ‘Niël Jonker’s Landscape Painting Tours’ which is a two-day event.’ Novices, professionals and spectators are all invited to join him on a two day exploration of feelings for the environment through the timeless art of painting. Order a new painting kit or bring your own things and be prepared to disregard old rules for new discoveries in paint. The idea is to instill in you the confidence to start painting and then maintain daily practise, all through a heightened sense of regard for the natural environment. The tour runs over two days and participants will come away from it feeling invigorated and ready to face life’s challenges.