Abbreviated bio

Jill Trappler has worked as an artists and craft person in various projects over the past thirty years. These include, Thupelo, Greatmore Street (she is a founder member of both) and Bag Factory studios. (She was a Board member of all three). Jill served on the Board of the Ava gallery and the NAC.

Jill established the Philani weaving project and the Intle cooperative project in Site B and Philippi; the Philani clinic in Khayelitsha has a sustainable weaving project. The art studio initiative at Valkenberg grew out of workshops coordinated at the hospital. (This project started as an Outreach initiative of the AVA gallery)

She has worked as an unqualified OT at Baragwaneth (1976/77) and at Groot Schuur OT department as a part time lecturer. Jill has lectured at UCT summer school.

She exhibits regularly in group shows nationally and abroad. Her solo exhibitions are numerous and continue to be a priority in her practice.

The combinations of project work, teaching and personal practice has a significant impact. Interactive, exchanging skills and ideas with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences plus daily involvement in making art/craft push the levels of creative life style, education and product development.

1957 – 4 – 15   Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa


1975- 1979     Bill Ainslie, Johannesburg Art Foundation,

1975- 1978     UNISA, three years BA and FA subjects

Apprentice in various craft studios, including weaving, ceramics, dying, spinning, knitting, fabric painting/printing, embroidery, sewing, beading.


Warren Editions -2014

Cavesham Press – 2014, March, 5th – 7th,

3 Day Residency Prince Albert Festival –

2012 & 2014  Group Exhibition @ the Residency of the Spanish Embassy –

2010              Ariel Worker’s Day Festival –

2013              Summer School – 2013 (previous years)

Philani Project Khayelitsha

2012              Contemporay South African ArtistS 2, DMEC, Devon Learning & Development Partnership

2011              Creative Blocks – 2010 on going Thupelo Workshop Project – 1

1985              on going Greatmore Street Artists Studios – 1998 on going Bag Factory Artists Studios

Water and me; partnership with Greatmore street studio s and UCT Chemical engineering department.


The Association for Visual Arts Gallery ( AVA Gallery), Cape Town. (1990, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008) 1990

Gallery International, Cape Town 1995

Prime Art Gallery, Cape Town. 2000

Tatham Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, KZN 2002

Fordsburg artist’s studio (Bag Factory Gallery,) Johannesburg 2003

Bellville Art, (Art B)   Cape Town. 2006

Kwazulu, Natal Association of Arts Gallery (KZNSA), Durban 2007

Bag Factory Gallery, Johannesburg. 2007

Studio exhibition, Orange Street Studios, Gardens, Cape Town 2008

Joe Wolpe selects Jill Trappler’s work for show at the AVA, Cape Town 2008

SMAC Stellenbosch, Abstract art in South Africa, pre 1990. 2009

Irma Stern Gallery, Cape Town 2010

SMAC Stellenbosch 2010

Casa Labia gallery, Muizenberg, Cape 2012

Knysna fine arts Gallery, Knysna, Western Cape 2013

AVA, Unfolding her May 2015

Canteen Arts on main, May/June 2015

The Cape Town Art Fair,  Seippel gallery (C3), February 2016

That Art Fair, Cape Town, February 2016

Gallery Mojo, Dubai, February 2016

Kim Sack Gallery Johannesburg, February 2016

AVA gallery Cape Town, February 2016

Group Shows include;

November 2017, Threads run through us; backpackers, Buitengracht street, Cape Town.

November 2017, Through lines; Curated by Lindsey O’Connor for Greatmore street event space.

October 2017, Pieces of Eight, Africa Nova

September 2017, Abstraction. For the Marilyn Martin lecture series. Greatmore street event space.

September 2017, Drought, Artvark, Kalk Bay, Cape Town.

August 2017, AVA Salon exhibition

2017       Cape Town art fair; Seippel gallery

2017      Greatmore street studios; @large group exhibitions.

2017       Turbine art fair; LL editions.

2016       Cape Town Art Fair (Seippel gallery)

2016       Irma stern gallery. Unfolding into spring.

2016       AVA gallery. Eunice Geustyn and Jill Trappler, half-light and shadows.

2014       Seeking Eden Casa Labia, Muizenberg

2014       Equus gallery, Cavalie estate. Cape Town

2013       Imibala, Somerset West

2013       Somerset West, Western Cape.   Imibala Gallery

2013       Cape Town Art Fair (INC) 1990, 1995, 1996, 2005, 2007, 2011 Thupelo workshop exhibitions

2012       In Bloom 2 Casa labia gallery Cape Town

2012       Cape Town, Casa Labia Gallery

2012       Prince Albert festival. Western Cape (Vulnerable Landscape)

2011, 2012, 2013 JHB Art Fair/Seippel gallery  2011 WATERS/VASIA, Finland

2011       Finland (waters/Vasia)

2011, 12,13    Johannesburg Art Fair/Seippel gallery

2010      Thupelo, Greatmore street Cape Town 2010 WATERS/VASIA, AVA Cape Town, Durban Art …JHB Bag Factory.

2010       Cape Town, Durban Art space Gallery …JHB Bag Factory. (Vasia/waters)

2010       Stellenbosch, Spier Gallery (end conscription Campaign)

2010       Cape Town, (these four walls)

2010       Cape Town, Greatmore street Gallery

2009      7th annual British International mini print exhibition

2008      Group show of non figurative work, Seippel gallery JHB

2007,08,09 Lessedra contemporary art projects, Bulgaria.

2008, 09 7th British international mini print exhibition.

March     2008 2004, “time, memory and desire” Standard Bank gallery JHB

2004       “strangers” a group show including artists from SA, New Zealand and Canada.

2004       Cape Town; SA, New Zealand and Canada. (Strangers)

2004       Johannesburg, Standard Bank Gallery, (time, memory, desire)

2002       The mythic image, Bellville, Cape 2001 3/3 AVA

2002       Cape Town ART B, (the mythic image)

2002       Wales (Spirit of the place).

2001       Brain Storm, Cape Town

2001       Cape Town AVA Gallery. (Spirit of the place)

2001       Cape Town AVA Gallery (Brain storm)

2001       Cape Town AVA Gallery (3/3)

2001/2002 Spirit of the Place, with artists from Wales

1999       Workshop show, Kampala, Uganda.

1998       Group show in Switzerland

1996       Thupelo International workshop exhibition, Michaelis School of Fine art UCT

1994       Group show in Munich Switzerland 1991 Newtown gallery, JHB

1988       Johannesburg FUBU Gallery, Newtown

1991       Johannesburg Newtown Gallery

1994       Switzerland, Munich

1996       Cape Town. Michaelis School of Fine art, University of Cape Town

1998       Selected artist show at Munich Book Fair. Switzerland

1999       Uganda, Kampala.(Workshop exhibition) .


1976, 1977      (FUBA) The Federated Union for Black artists.

Johannesburg Art Foundation Johannesburg School for Autism Johannesburg, Newtown Indian primary school.

1981 to 1984   Cape Town, Private studio and CAP

1998       Pietermaritzburg, KZN Tatham Gallery Workshop for local artists.

2000       Zurich Workshop for Peace movement.

2000 2005       Cape Town South African National gallery Annex. Part time classes.

2003, 2008      Cape Town, Orange street open studios.

2009       ongoing Art Source studio Observatory

2011       Philani employment project

2013, 2014, 2015 Thupelo coordinator

Thupelo assembly for Triangle network participants

Print workshop with Joe Leshoka at the Bag factory studio

2017       UCT summer school

2017       FynArts festival Hermanus; workshop

January 2017; part time director Greatmore street studios/Thupelo workshop projects.


1980       Co founder Thupelo Cape town workshops

1986       Thupelo International Art Workshop Project.

1995       Launch of Greatmore street Studios project

1998       Transfigurative exhibition, AVA

2007       Triangle Africa Arts Trust conference in Cape Town.

2010. 2012      Group exhibition at the Spanish Ambassadors’ Residence, Cape Town

Thupelo, managing trustee for the project including Nyanga workshop 2017


1991       Cape Town Exhibition coordinator. Valkenburg hospital at UCT

1997       Switzerland for Pro Helvetia; studio exchange programs

2009, 2010      Echo shelter project. Coral, crocheting project.

2009       Real stories gallery website; HIV in the SADAC region

2010       Philani employment project

2016/2017 Greatmore street studios.


2006       Occupational Therapy Department, Groote Schuur Hospital

2010       Drawing project. Ruth Prowse School of art. Cape Town.

2013       Part time lecturer Michaelis art school, UCT Lecturing at UCT Summer School, (2000 to 2004, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014, 2015)


2006       Documentary video on GMS and Thupelo

2005, 2007      Research and interviews for book about Bill Ainslie

2007       Appointed to attend a donors meeting in Amsterdam, Arts Collaboratory

2012/2014       Publications x 3 Mike Gardiner, (Bill Ainslie) Robert Loder, (various local artists) Bag Factory; (Greatmore street.)

2012       Benetton’s; 10 x 12 @ SA

2015       Making art in Africa,, Polly savage.


1981-84         Cape Town   Community Arts Project (CAP) Facilitator

1995       Uganda, participant and facilitator

1996       Johannesburg.. Thupelo (participant)

2014       Mauritius Triangle workshop; I was not able to attend. Cavasham press, KZN; two weeks print making

2015       Triangle New York. Salem September

Studio employment

1975,76         Professional weaver for Peter Soldartis, Helen de Leeuw plus private Clients

1976,77,78      Baragwanath hospital, Soweto, (occupational therapy department)

1980       Devon UK. The Care Village; art/craft studio facilitator London; Adult Institute Islington (weaving) St Helena Island and Tristan de Cunha island

1981       Hannes Hares, weaving studio Cape Town.

1981       Philani Nutrition Clinics Crossroads and Khayelitsha.

1980       Established the Intle weaving co-operative, Crossroads. Cape Town Establishing the Wolani papier-mâché project for HIV

1987       Cape Town Flagship, printmaking Employment project,. Crossroad

1995,96         Cape Town Facilitator De Lorentz Clinic

1995       Cape Town Established art studios at Valkenburg hospital..

1998, 2008     Cape Town Philani nutrition clinic, Greatmore street studios

2014, 2015 and 2016     Resident artist at Greatmore street studios


1996- 2007      Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town. 1

996-2009       Trustee and committee/founder member: Greatmore Street Studios.

1988       on going Coordinator of the Thupelo workshops Cape Town.

2002 03         Appointed to the Board of the National arts Council

2007       ongoing  Board member of Bag Factory Studios, Johannesburg

2007       Selection panel, Commonwealth foundation awards

2009       Chair of Africa region Commonwealth Foundation awards


Making art in Africa isbn 9781848221512

South africa: 10 x 12@SA isbn 9788898764099

Abstract by Nature Oct 2005 AVA in partnership with Spier

Notions of being/moments of being isbn 9783940440

Unfolding Her copyright Jill trappler 2015

Familiar places. copyright Jill Trappler 2015

Familiar places. copyright jill Trappler 2012

William (Bill) Ainslie isbn 9780620655972

Mantis volume 26 Number 2 winter 2015

waters-Vasia-amanzi 2010-2011

Busan Biennale 2008 Expenditure

Art South Africa August 2015, Marilyn Martin

Abstract art form the isolation years; 9780620442091

Cambridge Scholars Publishing – Practices of Abstract Art

Unfolding into spring 2015/2016 ISBN 978-3-940440-22-8

Assembly 2016, Thupelo Cape Town. The Triangle net work

South Africa, the art of a nation. John Giblin and Chris Spring
The British Museum ISBN 978-0-500-29283-9


Various private, locally and abroad; Corporate and public collections including:

  • South African National Gallery (SANG)
  • Vodacom,
  • SABC.
  • Investec.
  • Nandos UK.
  • University of Cape Town
  • Spier Foundation
  • Creative blocks
  • British Museum. London
  • British Museum. London, (Cosmos 2) and Yellowwoods collection