Poet, Painter, Art Historian and Writer
Melanie Grobler was born at Warmbaths and grew up in Rustenburg, Transvaal. She studied at the University of Pretoria (BA in Psychology and Philosophy, BA Hons in History of Art, cum laude, MA in History of Art, cum laude, PhD 2002) and at Unisa (B hons in Psychology).
She has been involved with art, writing and process facilitation since 1980, developing cultural projects at the Institute of Further Learning, Unisa, as well as the Bureau for Cultural Affairs, University of Pretoria. She was curator for seven years at the University of Pretoria and the co-founder of the Hlumelo Theatre. (Hlumelo, a Xhosa word, which means 'shoot of a dead tree', encapsulating its aim, which is to facilitate the release of old patterns of thought and behaviour which are disempowering to individuals.)
Her doctoral thesis dealt with the writings, aesthetics and concepts of Breyten Breytenbach. She documented Breytenbach's art over a period of the years: approximately one thousand paintings, drawings and installations were photographed in Paris, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria.
She is married to a lawyer, Pieter Grobler, an alumnus of Stellenbosch University. They have two daughters and a son. In 1998, after Pieter's political career ended, they moved from Pretoria to Stellenbosch. They now live in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, where she devotes her time to writing.
Melanie Grobler sees art and writing as a discipline of being – an ongoing process of becoming conscious.
She likes the music of Clearwater Revival, Bach and Philip Glass, the coffee shops in Stellenbosch and a late night ride (alone) on the coastal road to Pringle Bay, listening to the music of Delta Blues.
1982 – 2002: twelve solo and group exhibitions.
1992 - Academic Honorary Colours University of Pretoria
1992 - French Insitute Johannesburg: Bursary for documentation of Breyten Breytenbach's art in France and The Netherlands
Rapport Prize for Poetry 1992
2005 - Eugéne Maraisprys vir Die Waterbreker
1992 - 2000 Published short stories in six and poetry in seven collections, including A Time of Trial (Ontario: Hidden Brook Press). Poems for 11 September 2001
2005 - The Singing Hand. A Collection of Paintings and Drawings of Breyten Breytenbach.
A Short Biography. E.Publishers. Learning on Line.
Tye en Swye in die Lewe van Hester H (poetry), Tafelberg, 1991
Die Waterbreker (poetry), Tafelberg, 2003.
Posted 02 July 2005, www.face.org.za, author: Melanie Grobler.