Liefie AKA Haidee Nel

Born 1977 in Tshwane, South Africa

Lives and works Swellendam, South Africa


This Artist is a dedicated contemporary African sculptor, installation artist as well as performance artist and fashion enthusiast, who currently lives and works in the small town Swellendam, Western Cape, South Africa. 

Being a mother of two young girls she decided to raise her children as close to nature as possible where it was still possible for the children to go to school barefoot. She states that her children and nature are her muses in her artistic work. The closed eyed and barefoot child is currently one of Nel’s signature traits.

She sees herself as a warrior of life honoring the inner child, innocence, love and nature. Through her creative work she becomes a voice to the silenced. The story she is telling is that of her own experiences of growing, failing, healing, seeing and learning, seeking questions and answers to conscious awareness and the essence of the true self and the relationship with the inner child. 

Her sculptures are mostly in wood, cement, fabric and Poly-marble and she enjoys playing with color and texture, to create figurative doll-like sculptures. It results in an assemblage of curious figures that narrates theories of the Human condition. Nel’s work is monumental to the child self.

She received a BFA Honours Degree from the University of Cape Town's Michealis School of Fine Art with the ‘Dean’s Merit List Award’ for academic performance Her Master’s degree is currently pending. She has participated in over 80 group shows and 3 major solo exhibitions, mainly in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. In the past 5 years she participated a major art fairs such as the Cape Town Art Fair, Joburg Art Fair, AKAA Art Fair Paris, Turbine Art Fair, That Art Fair (African Art Fair Cape Town) and Brussels Art Fair as well as being selected as participating artist at the KKNK Arts Festival, Aardklop Art Festival and at the Woordfees Art Festival. 

Nel has also worked closely with various charities; this is where her work extends real change in the monetary world. The charity auctions have also allowed her work to be found in important private collections and the increase of the value of her work. Charity organizations such as Orange Babies (Netherlands), Art Angels (Cape Town), MAD Foundation (Cape Town, London) and Les Couleurs (New York, Tahiti).

Nel's art work can be found in important Private and Corporate Collections, some of which include the Sasol as well as Spier Collections.  Currently, Nel is working on creative activism through a public sculpture invasion in Swellendam, South Africa after a yearlong participation in the group public sculpture installation at Fyn Arts Hermanus, South Africa.

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1977 -
Nationality: South African
Residence: Swellendam, South Africa