Inspiring emerging artist, Ilze Coetzee is a proud South African, born in Gauteng and now living in the Western Cape.
This promising young artist has been painting for more than a decade and has chosen to turn her passion into her career. This passion for her creative talent is evident when you engage with her personally and with her paintings.

She specializes in Oil and Acrylics on canvas with the main theme of her work being African people, which she has been doing under the pseudonym, Ilaai, since 2005. Ilze focuses on colour and character in the people she immortalizes on canvas. The energy and movement allow the artist to portray these high levels of energy in her paintings. When these works are viewed, it doesn’t merely stand as a colorful and realistic picture, it immediately draws the viewer into the transcending world of the characters portrayed with the rhythm and emotions passionately enthralling you from within the canvas.
She has also started working in various abstract fields, landscapes & cityscapes that have been received very well from different groups in South Africa.
The artist has always been passionate about the works of Mark Rothko, doing her final year thesis on the psychological implications of his work. The relationship between colour and emotion has been the main guide in her abstract creations, and where her painting tells a story of everyday life, the abstracts portray emotion in its rawest sense.

Ilze sold her first piece of work whilst in her final year of school in 2000, went on to study Fine Art at Stellenbosch, took up art full time in 2005 and had her first solo exhibition in 2009.

Her art is popular in local as well as European markets and has obtained International recognition. Her work has been purchased by collectors from Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, USA, Italy, France and New Zealand.

She’s also been commissioned to produce works of art for Monty Shadow, Paulo Coelho, Reutech Radar Systems (Pty) Ltd. and Miele SA.


Women in Motion

‘Women in Motion’ (3rd solo exhibition) - is a celebration of the strength, beauty and sensuality of women. The natural beauty of a woman’s body and physique forms another subtle undertone of each of the paintings in this collection. All the paintings forming part of ‘Women in Motion’, were inspired by a calendar containing pictures of dancers in motion, which was compiled by Renee Watson (of Renee Watson Pilates studios), and which immediately instilled feelings of happiness and delight in Ilze when she first laid eyes on them.

The collection comprises of three distinct categories, with each category uniquely capturing moments of serenity. The categories are:
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*Black and white nudes – these paintings reflect mystery and sensuality;
*Figures immersed in water – these works embody pure beauty and calmness;
*Dancers in motion on white background – each of these images captures raw energy and strength.

The combination of the themes portrayed in all three of the abovementioned categories brings together the key elements of being a woman and deserves to be celebrated!

It's Been a Long Time Coming

1st Solo Exhibition 2009

It’s been a long time coming…

Like time, the creative process heals. Colours, textures, sounds and words give us the opportunity to express what we feel.
To tell stories, our own or other’s, and in the telling of stories we find that we are not alone. Our stories have been told many times over through all the ages. Yet we tell, we listen, and we find ourselves in them.

No story has been told more than that which makes us human – love. It carries the greatest reward, yet nothing in this life may ask more from us.

My work starts with the certainty of change, indeed that “A change is gonna come.” In a constant interaction with music, the first work contains many pallets that I collected over years, each with its own shapes, colours and emotions.
I found that I quickly veered to the abstract. Love itself is abstract, beyond human words or pictures.

I took the first step without knowing where it will lead. I discovered what I never imagined. Healing does not leave you repaired. It was a journey that always led to freedom.

To truly love is to be truly free.

(In this exhibition, each painting is paired with a specific song - as seen in the title. Each piece was either inspired by that song or the painting brought a song to mind.