Hannelie Coetzee uses natural materials the landscape offers as a medium to build site specific artworks. Her artworks are sometimes permanent, but often ephemeral. Her temporary works are captured on films or photographs prolonging the message the moment granted. The memory of seeing an artwork is for her as much a treasure as a permanent artwork. A moment where the viewer is emotionally connected to a landscape lingers longer.
To realize such moments, she builds networks of experts in various fields to partner with, often environmental scientists, urban developers and communities. Many mutually interested parties who passionately want to impact people’s perceptions about a specific issue, are approached. She carefully considers all the parties’ agendas and then develops an artwork, sometimes participatory, to communicate this. This method takes time to research and prepare a mutually beneficial visual form.
Research into scientific methods and questions are fundamental to her process of partnerships. Coetzee’s work in sculpture and photography centre on the use of these media as a means to emotionally engage audiences, participants and the broader public with place, and as a means to draw audiences to nature and see nature in a new emotionally engaged and empathetic realm. Coetzee’s work specifically aims to integrate science and art to inspire empathy for and engagement with nature.