Abbreviated Bio

Jill Trappler has worked as an artist 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 Baragwanath (1976/77) and at Groot Schuur OT department as a part-time lecturer. Jill has lectured at Summer school, UCT.

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 have 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 lifestyle, education and product development.


Jill Trappler

1957 – 4 – 15 Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa


Full Bio


Annual cultural affairs awards, Western Cape cradle of culture. Contribution to Visual, audio-visual and interactive media.



1975- 1979: Bill Ainslie, Johannesburg Art Foundation,

1975- 1978: UNISA, three years BA and FA subjects

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


Selected Solo Exhibitions

February /March 2021: 6 Spin street gallery, Exhibition of children’s work in partnership with Home from Home and Orange art project

February /March 2021: 6 Spin street gallery, Exhibition of Orange art group

February /March 2021: 6 Spin street gallery, Water and the Moon

November 2019: AVA, Reverberations

February, March, April 2019: Gallery South exhibition, Title, “Stoep”

February 2016: 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

May 2015: AVA, Unfolding her

May/June 2015: Canteen Arts on main

2013: Knysna fine arts Gallery, Knysna, Western Cape

2012: Casa Labia Gallery, Muizenberg, Cape Town

2010: Irma Stern Gallery, Cape Town

2010: SMAC Stellenbosch

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

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

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

2007: Bag Factory Gallery, Johannesburg

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

2006: Bellville Art, (Art B)   Cape Town

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

2002: Tatham Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, KZN

2000: Prime Art Gallery, Cape Town

1995: Gallery International, Cape Town

1990 – Ongoing every two years: The Association for Visual Arts Gallery (AVA Gallery), Cape Town


Selected Group Shows:

January 2020; Canvas Workshop residency at Zeitz Mocaa with Lionel Davis and Garth Erasmus

November /December 2019 Nel gallery, Cape Town

December 2018: AVA

October 2018: Greatmore Sheet

Nov 2018: Africa Nova

July 2018: Artvark

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 Artspace 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: BrainStorm, Cape Town

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

2001: Cape Town AVA Gallery (Brainstorm)

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)


Work Experience Teaching

2020: Monday session at Ruth Prowse

January 2020; Summer school, UCT

2017: Summer school, UCT

2017: FynArts festival Hermanus; workshop

January 2017: part-time director Greatmore street studios/Thupelo workshop projects

2013, 2014, 2015: Thupelo coordinator

Thupelo assembly for Triangle network participants

Print workshop with Joe Leshoka at the Bag factory studio

2011: Philani employment project

2009: ongoing Art Source studio Observatory

2003, 2008: Cape Town, Orange street open studios

2000 – 2005: Cape Town South African National Gallery Annex. Part-time classes

2000: Zurich Workshop for the Peace movement

1998: Pietermaritzburg, KZN Tatham Gallery Workshop for local artists

1981 to 1984: Cape Town, Private studio and CAP

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

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



2017: Thupelo, managing trustee for the project including Nyanga workshop

2015: Water and me; partnership with Greatmore street studio s and UCT Chemical engineering department

2014 March, 5th – 7th: Caversham Press, 3 Day Residency Prince Albert Festival

2013: Summer School – 2013 (previous years)

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

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

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

2010: Ariel Worker’s Day Festival

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

2007: Triangle Africa Arts Trust conference in Cape Town

1998 – 2010: Ongoing Bag Factory Artists Studios

1998: Transfigurative exhibition, AVA

1995: Launch of Greatmore street Studios project

1986: Thupelo International Art Workshop Project

1985: Part-time to 2013 Philani Project Khayelitsha

1985 – To date: Thupelo Workshop project

1985 – 2018: Greatmore Street Artists Studios

1980: Co-founder Thupelo Cape town workshops



2016/2017: Greatmore street studios

2010: Philani employment project

2009: Real stories gallery website; HIV in the SADAC region

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

1997: Switzerland for Pro Helvetia; studio exchange programs

1991: Cape Town Exhibition coordinator. Valkenburg hospital at UCT



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

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

2006: Occupational Therapy Department, Groote Schuur Hospital



2015: Making art in Africa, Polly savage

2012: Benetton’s; 10 x 12 @ SA

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

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

2006: Documentary video on GMS and Thupelo

2005, 2007: Research and interviews for a book about Bill Ainslie

1997: Research studio exchange projects in SA and Switzerland for  Prohelvetia



2015: Triangle New York. Salem September

2014: Mauritius Triangle workshop; I was not able to attend.

2014: Cavasham press, KZN; two weeks printmaking

1996: Johannesburg, Thupelo (participant)

1995: Uganda, participant and facilitator

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


Studio employment

2014, 2015 and 2016: Resident artist at Greatmore street studios

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

1995: Cape Town Established art studios at Valkenburg hospital

1995,96: Cape Town Facilitator De Lorentz Clinic

1987: Cape Town Flagship, printmaking Employment project,. Crossroad

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

1981: Philani Nutrition Clinics Crossroads and Khayelitsha.

1981: Hannes Hares, weaving studio Cape Town.

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

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

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



2009: Chair of Africa region Commonwealth Foundation awards

2007: Selection panel, Commonwealth foundation awards

2007: ongoing  Board member of Bag Factory Studios, Johannesburg

2002, 03: Appointed to the Board of the National Arts Council

1996-2009: Trustee and committee/founder member: Greatmore Street Studios.

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

1988 to 2018: Greatmore street/Thupelo (not ongoing)



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 network

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)




Nandos UK

University of Cape Town

Spier Foundation

Creative blocks

British Museum. London

British Museum. London, (Cosmos 2) and Yellowwoods collection