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who am I ?


Playing together

Co- creator


Winning and Loosing


Finding myself

Seeing Beauty in everything


Along this bitter-sweet journey towards unveiling the inner self, it becomes apparent that there is a myriad of visible and invisible layers of masking to outwardly express an identity, knowingly or unknowingly, in order to perform in this Masquerade called Life...

The story told is that of a “ Hero’s Journey”, exploring the relationship with the inner child through time and space, connecting, listening, accepting, surrendering, forgiving ,thanking, challenging, holding, confronting, shadowing, appreciating, loving, failing, seeing, pushing, healing, seeking questions and answers towards awakening. 

Then, for a moment, grasping the essence of the true self. 

The journey of a never-ending story.

“But if we become entangled in the masks that we wear, and the mask becomes our reality, the child falls asleep.  The performance act becomes reality, and reality becomes the illusive - dream, unconsciousness.”stay awake, if you can.

It goes on, does it ever stop? The gates ahead keeps closing. Until death do you part. One day, soon. Tomorrow maybe?

As soon as you feel accomplished, you are actually ten meters back. When you think you have learnt something, another lesson knocks on the door. When do you grow up? When do you reach the point of total awareness. Total confidence. Be comfortable in your surroundings. One with yourself.  Neutral. goes.......tick.....tock.......tick......tock...........its what you make of it. 


Every second counts.

game is on

 Creativity is how I alchemize the darkness. To me creativity is a channel to mirror the experience and then learn from it. At the same time transforming that which is dark into something beautiful . I love being a woodcarver, mould maker, installation builder, performance artist, fashion enthusiast, sound listener , any form or material that lends itself to being shaped, chiselled, bend, moulded , evoking deeper thoughts and feelings and then inspire through Beauty.

Currently  I live and work in the small town Swellendam, Western Cape, South Africa. 

Being a mother of two young girls I decided to raise these amazing girls as close to nature as possible where it is still possible for the children to go to school barefoot, and ride bicycles. My children and nature are my muses. The closed eyed and barefoot child is currently one of Nel’s signature traits.


I see myself as a warrior of life, honoring the inner child, innocence, love and nature. The creative work  becomes a voice to the silenced,

" n boodskap wat woordeloos verstaan". 

I experiment with many different materials, techniques (modeling, carving, constructing) and color combinations. The result is a tactile assemblage. I tried to communicate these many layers of masking by combining various tactile materials: hard and soft, smooth and rough, natural and synthetic. Furthermore, I combine more traditional materials and methods such as wood and wood carving with more modern and unconventional materials and techniques such as plastic resulting in a fusing of the old and the new worlds. Currently I am exploring fusing sound and the digital realm as another layer to the work, by collaborating with Seun, ( an Audio Digital Artist) we push our own boundaries , we are opening portholes together. Each layer adding to the story. Each work becoming a performance, as we unravel our art forms and crack codes in order to create new perspectives to the same stories.

wow what time to be alive!

PS remember to make popcorn and watch this incredible how called Life!

"The Coarse of  life"

haidee nel 1977




  Pending Masters in Fine Art, UCT, Cape Town

2022-23      Seun and Liefie, collaboration, School of life , location Earth. 

2022-23      My Lam / My Lamb, FynArts Public Sculpture Hermanus South Africa, and the Review Die Lam Alweer, by                          Seun- Klanke van die Mensdom

2022           Lam Alweer and Rooiborsduif collaboration installation brainstorm, Liefie & Seun. Awardwinning Mixtape van                    die Liefde,Aardklop, Johannesburg, South Africa

2018- 20     Meerlig, FynArts Public Sculpture Hermanus South Africa

2015- 22     Cape Town Art Fair, Joburg Art Fairs, AKAA Art fair Paris, Turbine Art Fair, Woordfees 

                 Stellenbosch, KKNK Arts Festival Oudtshoorn, That Art Fair (African Art Fair CT) ,                                     Aardklop (Johannesburg), Brussels ArtFair.


2016        1st Prize for Sculpted Dress ‘At the End of the Rainbow - Show Stopper - Fashion Show, 

2014         Finalist Best Retail Design - Spectrum Retail Design and Development Awards 
                 2014, Category Retail Store, Rain Africa, Gateway Mall, Durban

2012         Design Indaba Fair - Hartedief Art Object, one of best designs at the Design Indaba Fair 

2011         Regional Finalist, Absa le Atelier Art Awards, Cape Town 

2010         Overall Winner, Vuleka Art Awards, Cape Town

2002         Merit Award, Sasol New Signatures Competition, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria.  


2001         Jewellery Course - Pearls of Wisdom, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, England

2000         Diploma in Advanced Black and White Photography, Micheal Hetem School of 
                 Photography, Johannesburg. 

2000         Dean’s Merit List, Award for Academic Performance. University of Cape Town


2000         Bachelor of Fine Art Degree (Hons), Major in Sculpture, University of Cape Town, 
                 Michealis School of Fine Art. 




Upcoming exhibitions 2023 TAF & The  Masbiekers Rainbow, more of Seun and Liefie 

2023       Stukkie Website- haidee nel, under-construction and guided by Liefie and SEUN

2023       Dis God se geld en darm nie so ver soos n droom nie, Episode 0- Seun en Liefie collaboration WFT café                (what the fudge Café) The collision, in-between Heaven and Earth

2023         Creation of the Award Sculpture for KKNK 2023, Afi-kaanse Dali Tambo

2023       UNPLUG REPROGRAM – series of 6 public sculptures- The Rainbow - Swellendam, in collaboration with                the awesome people of Swellendam. First one up - Bontebok Primary School Swellendam.

2023       Haidee Nel presenting GoFigure by George, Swellendam

2023       Crush Exhibition, Group show, Bruise Gallery , Swellendam, South Africa

2023       All that Glitters Is Not Gold, Uitstalling, Genk, Belgium


2022       Mixtape van die liefde, Swartskapie  & Die Lam Alweer. Installation collaboration,                                              SEUN en LIefie.  Rooiborsduif, Aardklop, Johannesburg, South Africa.

2022       Bruise gallery epic opening group show Overberg Artists, Swellendam, South Africa.

2022       Group show Grande Provence, Franschhoek.

2022       Live Virtual Auction Strauss&Co

2022       ZYCIE NIEZBADANE/UNEXAMINED LIFE- Uitstalling/MAD ART Gallery , Poznan, Poland.

2022       Hybrid III, Uitstalling Genk, Belgium

2022       Hermanus Fine Art Public Sculpture MY  LAM/ MY LAMB  June 2022

2022       Brussels Art Fair, The Solo Project, May 2022


2021       Home is where the art is , Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town 

2021       Liefie Series, Group Exhibition, Schoeman Gallery, De Rust

2021       Liefie Series, Kamers Art Fair 2021, Stellenbosch

2021       Infantry Girl & Boy, ORT Global Online Art Auction

2021       Collaboration with Mrs SA finalist, Johanni Steenkamp- Charity Auction, Johannesburg

2021       Eye of the Storm, Up to the Mark – Group Exhibition, Aity Galley, Franschhoek

2021       Trojan Horse & Urban Masquerade, Hybrid – Group Exhibition, Uitstalling Gallery, Genk, Belgium

2021        White Rabbit – Lockdown Art 2020, Instagram Auction


2020        Crown Sculpture, Give Her a Crown Exhibition, Jaguar Experience Centre, Johannesburg 

2020        Group Exhibition, Fuck It – Let’s Wrap It, Cape Town 

2020        Infantry Series (Girl & Boy), 'Home Is Where the Art Is', Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town 

2020        Infantry Series (Girl), Kunst Zürich 2020, Zürich 
2020        Solo Exhibition Bittersoet/ Bittersweet, Uitstalling, Belgium

2020        Commission for Swellendam High School  


2019        Infantry Boy and Girl ,Les Couleurs Charity- New York 

2019        Artintheyard – Franschhoek Literary Festival       

2019        Art Angels Ellerman house South Africa    

2019        Meerlig Public Sculpture. Fyn Arts Festival Hermanus South Africa 

2019        Infantry Series MAD Art Auction Lionel Smith Studio Cape Town 

2019        Infantry Series Mad Art Auction London

2019        Onmisbaar/Indispensable Turbine Art Fair- Lizamore & Associates Johannesburg



2019        Jan Celliers Art Fair –Lizamore & Associates 

2019        Infantry auction at Les Couleurs New York 

2019        Growing Pains/ Groeipyne – KKNK Oudtshoorn Arts Festival Group exhibition  

2019        Liefie bird- Rust en Vrede Group Exhibition



2018        Row -Row Everard Read Franschhoek Western Cape

2018        Shimmer & Shrine Series, AKAA Contemporary African Art Fair, Paris

2018        Onmisbaar / Indispensable Series, Turbine Art Fair with Lizamore & Associates Gallery, 

2018        Meerlig, Public Art Group Exhibition Sculpture on the Cliffs, FynArts Hermanus, Western Cape

2018        Masquerade Series, Group Exhibition, Knysna Fine Art Gallery, Knysna, Western Cape

2018        Groeipyne Series, Group Exhibition at Absolut Art Gallery, Stellenbosch, Cape Town- 

                Woordfees Art Festival



2017        Infantry I Series (Girl), Click Foundation Charity Auction – Art Angels, Ellerman House, 
                 Cape Town

2017        Liefie Series, Black Orchid, Group Exhibition at Elm Auction – Orchid Association, Stephen 
                 Welz & Co, Cape Town

2017        Groeipyne Series, Solo Exhibition, Worldart Gallery, Cape Town

2017        Infantry I & II Series, Boyoyoboy Gallery, Chicago, USA

2017        Sculpted Flower Dress / Performance Piece, Art Auction for Swellendam Hospital

2017        Liefie Group Exhibition, Buzz-TED (Bee Awareness) - Art@Almenkerk, Elgin, Cape Town

2017        Groeipyne Series, Solo Exhibition - Woordfees, Stellenbosch, Cape Town 



2016        Infantry I & II Series, Bennett Annual Art Fair with the Bennett Gallery, Cape Town  

2016        Sculpted Performance Piece, Epson 'Flowers in Art' Exhibition, Castle of Good Hope, Cape 

2016        Infantry II Series (Boy), Solo Exhibition – Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg

2016        Infantry Series I & II, Johannesburg Art Fair in collaboration with Orange Babies  

2016        Liefie Series – Turbine Art Fair with Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg

2016        At the end of the Rainbow, Sculpted Dress - Show Stopper - Fashion Show, Swellendam

2016        Camouflage Series, Lizamore@Clairvaux- Sculpture Garden, Robertson, Western Cape

2016        Veterans, THAT ART FAIR with Ebony Gallery, Cape Town

2016        Urban Masquerade Series - Cape Town Art fair with Worldart Gallery, Cape Town

2016        Camouflage Series, Cape Town Art Fair with Lizamore & Associates  



2015        At the End of the Rainbow & Trojan Horse – Equus Gallery, Cavalli Estate, Somerset West, 
                Cape Town    Follow link:

2015        Infantry I Series (Girl) – Joburg Art Fair with Orange Babies - South Africa

2015        Liefie Series, Human Experience, Kingdom Exhibition - Equus Gallery Cavalli Estate
                Somerset West, Cape Town

2015        Liefie, Art Beat Exhibition, Swellendam, Western Cape

2015        Infantry Series I, Solo Exhibition, Salon 91, Stellenbosch, Cape Town

2015        Urban Masquerade Series, Cape Town Art Fair with Erdmann Contemporary 

2015        Infantry I, That Art Fair with Ebony Gallery

2015        Infantry I, at the Franschhoek Literary Festival, Cape Town  



2014        Urban Masquerade Series - Cape Town Art Fair with Erdmann Contemporary



2013        Engel I & II, Group Exhibition at ArtB Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town

2013        Liefie, Homing Bird, The Travel Suitcase Group Exhibition curated by Dr Paul Bayliss, Design 
                 Indaba, sponsored by ABSA, Cape Town

2013        Journey of Liefie de Milo, Photographic Prints, ABSA L’Atelier Competition, Art ’B Gallery, 
                 Bellville, Cape Town

2013        Producer and curator for exhibition/animation and performance ‘I Long for you/ Les nuits 
in collaboration with soprano Marcel Volkeart and pianist Sylvia Schulman



2012        Journey of Liefie de Milo – Photographic Prints, Exhibition at BMW Auto Atlantic showrooms 
                 at the Foreshore with Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town   

2012        Hartedief Heart Objects d’Art Exhibition, Design Indaba, Cape Town          

2012        Art is my Child Group Exhibition, Design Indaba Cape Town   

2012        Journey of Liefie de Milo, Group exhibition ME MYSELF & I, The ArtBusiness Gallery, 
                 Piketberg, Western Cape



2011        Liefie, Higher, Group Exhibition, ABSA L’Atelier Competition, Art ‘B Gallery, Bellville, Cape 
2011        Liefie de Milo, Van die Hand na die Mond, Group Exhibition 360 degrees, Art Space Gallery - 
                 Teresa Lizamore, Johannesburg

2011        Infecting the City – group exhibition with Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town

2011        Liefie, Higher, Absa le Atelier Competition, Cape Town



2010        I Long for You, group exhibition Matters Conceptual: Seeing, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape 


2010        I Long for You, Group Exhibition Aardklop, Potchefstroom Museum, Potchefstroom, North
                 West Province

2010        I Long for You, Lanzerac, Stellenbosch, Cape Town              

2010        Hartedief range of Art Objects and catalogue, launch in Cape Town  

2010        I Long for You, Vuleka Art Competition, B Art Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town



2008        Teaching (part-time) at Frank Joubert Art Centre, Claremont Cape Town – subject Spatial 



2004-03     Love Painting Series, Group Exhibition, Grahamstown Art Festival, Grahamstown, Eastern 



2002        Maya II, Portrait/Relief Sculpture, Sasol New Signatures Competition, Pretoria Art Museum, 

2002        Maya Series of relief sculptures, Group Exhibition Oer Baan' at the Open Window, Pretoria

2002        Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil, Group Exhibition Millennium Gallery, Groenkloof,



2006        Full time Master’s student at Michealis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town


2000        Optical Virgin-‘SOFT SERVE II’ A Collaborative Exhibition. The National Art Gallery of Cape Town. My
                Sculptural live Performance ‘Optical Virgin’ was a great success and received great media
                attention: Cape Times, Argus, Big Issue Magazine, Cape review Magazine, Mail & guardian 
                Art Throb Website and ETV. The Optical Virgin’ was also exhibited at Cape Town One City 
                Festival, Rondebosch Boys High, Edinburgh Art Festival and London, England.





1999 -

2000        : A diligent member of ‘pm Inc’. Pm Inc Is a group of 8 young artists collaborating to bring art 
                  into an active public space of the inner city of Cape Town via performance art, video art, 
                 intervention and propaganda. Pm Inc achieved nine exhibitions in different locations in the
                 city space including the Gallery National Gallery of Cape Town, Ava and Joao Ferreira
                  Gallery. We were also invited to share our new ideas about art at Cape Town Rondebosch 
                 Boys High and Frank Joubert Art School. As a pm Inc member, I was the Video Art Director, 
                 Costume and set designer, creative researcher and a performer.



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