Cornè Theron was born in Worcester in the Western Cape in 1974. She matriculated in Bloemfontein and went on to study law at the University of the Orange Free State, graduating in 1997 with an LLB, after which she married and moved to Swellendam. She currently lives on a wine farm in Breedekloof.
She practised as a conveyancer for two years but resigned to explore other areas of self-expression. She started taking art classes at Rust-en-Vrede Art Gallery in Durbanville and subsequently participated in two group exhibitions there, and hosted several private exhibitions. She was chosen as one of 10 artists for the Fresh Talent exhibition held by the Crouse Art Gallery. She has sold a number of paintings to clients in various parts of the country and overseas.
She describes herself as a contemporary neo-optical artist. In her abstract figures, she often portrays images of women who find themselves underwater. “I examine our reactions to environments that are foreign to our natural abilities and control,” explains Corné. “I experiment with different types of glass as filters to create my images. I enjoy exploring the fact that our eyes are not developed to see underwater, so the images are blurred. I use water as a metaphor for our subconscious. A neuropsychiatrist friend of mine calls the subconscious our stored memory. Most of our reactions stem from our ‘programming’. I am fascinated by the way we mostly react towards each other without first logically thinking about it and reasoning about it. The sources of our influence and the way it impacts us, in terms of our individuality and the way we relate to each other, motivates my work.”
Theron now has a gallery representing her in France and has exhibited in Belgium, New York and London as well as Munich.