Andrew Verster – Artist, Designer and Playwright

Andrew Verster was born in Johannesburg in 1937. He attended the Camberwell School of Art and Reading University. Andrew Verster lectured at the University of Durban Westville (then University College, Durban) and the Natal Technikon until 1976, when he gave up teaching to become a full-time painter.

Andrew collaborated with the architect Hans Hallen on Mangosuthu Technikon and the Brenthurst Library. Writer of short stories, articles and radio plays (winner of the BBC World Service Playwriting Competition in 1992), You May Leave, The Show Is Over. The second was commissioned by the BBC, Future Past with Janet Suzman. Another, When In Rome, Don’t Drink The Water, was shortlisted. The short story Aileen, Marjorie, Arthur and Me was also broadcast by the BBC.

He designed the sets and costumes for Opera Africa’s Faust, Princess Magogo, and La Traviata and Rigoletto, and designs for the American production of Princess Magogo in 2004. Costumes for The Coolie Odyssey and for Threnody and Dances, a chamber opera, Women’s Festival in August 2002. Costumes for Private Lives for the Hilton Festival and for the adult pantomime Sinderella and produced costumes for The Rocky Horror Show at the Barnyard Theatre in 2004 and costumes for Barnyard Theatre production of Grease in 2006. In 2002, Durban Designer Collection and Miss India costumes. Durban Fashion Week 2005 featuring beadwork collection designed for the African Art Centre.

Andrew Verster has had over fifty solo exhibitions, is represented in many major public and private collections, and has been awarded two retrospective exhibitions organised by the Durban Art Gallery.

Numerous public and private commissions, including sculpture and tapestry for the Reserve Bank Durban; art works in Durban Hilton; tapestries and a mural for ABSA Headquarters, Johannesburg and a tapestry at the International Convention Centre in Durban. Three tapestries for Rhodes House in Oxford. Stainless steel screens for Metro Mall, Johannesburg. Commissions for the Constitutional Court including the entrance doors, carpets for the chamber and foyer, metal gates and chandeliers.

Andrew Verster received best costume design in the Fools Awards in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 for best visual artist and best costume design in the Durban Theatre Awards in 2004.

He also sits on the boards of: Film and Publication Review Board, Trustee of the Durban Art Gallery, the Arts Work Trust, Very Special Arts, Artists for Human Rights Trust and the African Art Centre. Committee of the Grahamstown Festival.

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