Kobie Nel is a South African multidisciplinary artist who works in photography, video, text, sculpture and installation. Currently residing and maintaining a studio practice in Bergen, where she obtained an MFA from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design in 2016 after completing her BA in Photography at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia in 2011.

Nel’s recent work, a practice that has mutated out of photography, exhibits an unmistakable desire to give three-dimensional form to the pictorial. But it also demonstrates an important dual examination: of light and colour as fundamental components of representative systems, and as forces that have often worked to her own benefit.

She creates staged installations for the audience and herself too, that probe, provoke and simply raise awareness of this contingent universe we find ourselves in. For Nel, navigating these waters means sailing close to the wind. She invariably asks her audience to match her level of self-examination.

It is by ways of investigative research - doing fieldwork, photographing, filming, writing and material experiments that her long term projects develop. Drawing on archives, history, ritual and ecological awareness, her installations shift viewers into a new headspace.

Recent exhibitions include Bergen Kjøtt, Tag Team Studio, Bergen Kunsthall and Galleri FELT in Bergen and internationally at I: project space; Beijing, Hong Kun Museum for Contemporary Art; Beijing, Colour Factory; Australia and The National Portrait Gallery; Australia. In 2017 she published her artist book, Black Lake Monologue, with Bergen based publisher CODA press. From 2018 she has been part of the jury and curator for Forbundet Frie Fotographer (FFF) spring exhibition in Fotogalleriet, Oslo.


2016 MFA, Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB), Bergen, Norway 
2011 BA Photography, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia
2005 Diploma in Graphic Design and Multimedia, Planet Pixl School of Advertising, South Africa

Solo exhibitions
2018 Apple Puma, Bergen Contemporary Art Project, Bergen Kjøtt, Bergen, Norway
2017 Of her face I have only a feeling that it appeared heavy, Tag Team Studio, Bergen, Norway
2015 Empty the Earth to Fill the Sky, Galleri Fisk, Bergen, Norway
2014 The Shape of Things to Come, Galleri Blunk, Trondheim, Norway
2007 Duplex, Oliewenhuis National Art Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Group exhibitions | Projects
2022Vestlandsutstillingen 2022, 100-årsjubileum, Norway
2021 Jubileumsutstilling, Norsk Billedhoggerforening, Oslo, Norway
2020 GK — 1:1 , Gyldenpris Kunsthall, Norway
Rumours with Julie Lillelien Porter, Bergen Artist Talks, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
2019 Coast Contemporary, Håholmen Havstuer, Averøy, Norway
Latitudes Art Fair, Weekend Server, Johannesburg, South Africa
Public Space Codex, Weekend Server, Bergen/Johannesburg, Norway/South Africa
One Image, Objectiv, Scandinavian Art Journal, Issue number 19, NO
2018 Høstutstillingen, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
Shortlisted, Den Danske Bogdesignpris, Black Lake Monologue, Denmark
Superare Sensibus, KNIPSU and Lydgalleriet, Bergen, Norway
ART + FOLK, Pamflett, Grafikk gjengen, Bergen, Norway
Kunstmarked, Bergen, Norway
Bergen Art Book fair, CODA press, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway
2017 The Staged Club, curated by Beike Li, Hong Kun Museum, Beijing, China 
Book launch, Bergen Art Book Fair, CODA Press, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
FELT Fokus, Artist presentation, Landmark, Bergen, Norway
Axolotl, Galleri FELT, Bergen, Norway
Accessing the Memory, I: project space, Beijing, China 
2016 hex, KHiB graduate exhibition, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway 
2015 Page 2, Book Launch and Performative Reading, Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen,
NorwayKunstauksjon Syria, VISP, Østre, Bergen, Norway
In Hockney’s Footsteps, Rom 8, Bergen, Norway
Performance Art Bergen, Gamle Bergen Kretsfengsel, Bergen, Norway
Passenger, Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB), Bergen, Norway
2014 Dissensus, Hardbakka Ruins Project, Bergen, Norway?Volle, SIM Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland?
Cartographer, SIM Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland
2013 Mirror Mirror: Contemporary photographic self-portraiture, curated by Linsey Gosper, Colour Factory
Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Kodak Salon, Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP), Melbourne, Australia
2012 Kodak Salon, Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP), Melbourne, Australia
Green bag Identity, Colour Factory Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2011 The Rest is Silence, Death Be Kind Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
This is Not Fine Art: Contemporary Practice from the BA Photography, First Site Gallery, Melbourne,
Kodak Salon, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, Australia
2011 National Photographic Portrait Prize , National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia

Artist Publication
2020 Apple Puma, Publishing with Bergen Kjøtt, Bergen, Norway (upcoming)
2017 Black Lake Monologue, Published with CODA Press, Bergen, Norway

Grants and support

2019 1 year working grant from Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Norway
2018 Artist assistant scheme with Pedro Gómez-Egaña from Arts Council Norway
Project funding from NOFOFO, Norsk Fotografisk Fond, Norway
Project funding from Hordaland Fylkeskommune, Norway
Exhibition funding for newly graduated artists from Arts Council Norway 2017 Prosjektstøtte,
Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond høsten, Norway?International art and cultural exchange, Bergen
Kommune, Norway 
Miscellaneous grant for young artists, Arts Council Norway?Exhibition funding for newly graduated
artists, Arts Council Norway
International art and cultural exchange, Bergen Kommune, Norway 
2016 Kulturrådet Diversestipend for Nyutdannede Kunstnere, Norway
2012 ArtStart Grant, Australia Council for the Arts, Australia
2012 NEIS Grant, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia
2011 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Travel Grant, Education Abroad, Australia

Professional experience
2019 Art Producer/Facilitator, VOLT, Curator Marie Nerland, Bergen, NO
Jury member, BKHs kunststudentstudentstipend for the Graduating Master Students, Faculty of Fine
Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen
Curator and Jury leader, Forbundet Frie Fotografer (FFF), Vårutstillingen 2019, Oslo, NO
Vara member, Representantskapet i HKS, BKFH, Bergen, NO
2018 Artist assistant to Pedro Gómez-Egaña, Bergen, NO
Jury leader, Forbundet Frie Fotografer (FFF), Vårutstillingen 2019, Oslo, NO
2017 Jury, Forbundet Frie Fotografer (FFF), Vårutstillingen 2018, Oslo, NO
Photographic Documentation, Assuming Public Space with Thomas Hirschhorn, Kunst I Offentlige
Rom (KORO), Trømso, NO
2016 Project coordinator, Bergen Assembly, Bergen, NO
On-site coordinator, Flaggfabrikken Center for Contemporary Art Residency, Bergen, NO
Photographer PAB (Performance Art Bergen) and PAO (Performance Art Oslo), NO
2015 Student representative jury for Photography professor, KHIB, Bergen, NO
2013 Project Assistant to Agatha Wara, Production Department, Bergen Assembly, Bergen, NO
2012 Co-founder and Secretary, Raglan Street Gallery, Non-Profit Artist run Space, Melbourne, AUS

2014 Artist in residence, hosted by SÍM - Association of Icelandic Visual Artist, Reykjavík, IS

2019 Cognitive Assemblages in Ecological / Digital Art, Scott Rettberg, ISEA conference, South Korea
2018 Bergen?, Espen Johansen, Picture Perfect, Objectiv, Scandinavian Art Journal, Issue number 18, NO
Turist: Between Sky and Sea, Lofoten, NO
2017 Tag Team Texts, Of her face I have only a feeling it appeared heavy., Bergen, NO
2016 Black Lake Monologue, Page 2, Bergen, NO

NBK, Norsk Billedkunstnere, (Norwegian Contemporary Artists)
FFF, Forbundet Frie Fotografer, (Association for Fine Art Photographers)
UKS, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, (Young Artists Society)
BKFH, Bildende Kunstneres Forening HordalandBergen Kunsthall

Studio: m15-17, Møllendahlsveien 17, 5009, Bergen