Nanette (Wessels) Ranger completed her Fine Art’s degree at the University of the Free State under the tutorage of Ben Bothma, Jan Schutte, Frik Potgieter, Zelia Horne and Marnus Havenga. In 1993, while at university, her work was chosen for the Rolfes Impressions Travelling Exhibition. After marrying environmentalist Sean Ranger she moved to Warmbaths in the Northern Province of South Africa where she honed her mould-making and metal-casting skills under the guidance of mentor and friend, Connie van Wyk. Towards the end of 1997 the family relocated to Paarl in the Western Cape, where they currently reside. In 2000 she opened the Nanette Ranger Art Studio, a private Art School that offers drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery and printing to adults and children. In 2006-2007 she began her experimentation with various materials and techniques, undertaking courses in ceramics with Paarl ceramicist Debbie de Beer and sandstone and marble sculpting with the Italian master carver, Severino Bracchialarghe. In early 2008 she expanded her understanding of materials completing a course in glass slumping with locally based Christa Goosen. In 2014 Nanette completed a cement casting workshop with Marieke Prinsloo Rowe.
She has been exhibiting consistently since 1987 and has participated in and curated many exhibitions throughout South Africa. Her work has been sold both nationally and abroad.
Under the influence of sculptors such as Rodin, Henry Moore, Dylan Lewis, Angus Taylor, Jacques Fuller, Jacques Dhont, Severino Bracchialarghe, Anton Smit and Marieke Prinsloo Rowe etc., Nanette became increasingly drawn to sculpture as her medium of expression.
Her sculptures have evolved over the last 10 years incorporating many materials including woven black wattle bark, wood, glass and metal. She feels a strong bond with clay as a sculpting medium and this material has been an integral part of her growth as a sculptor. Recently her repertoire has expanded through the acquisition of mould making skills. This has allowed her to transform original ceramic sculptures into alternative materials such as M1, Cold Bronze and Cold Marble casting. The skills developed provide her with the opportunity to work in bronze and on much larger scales.
“My work is an attempt to seek re-integration for myself and others and to reflect on the metaphysical power that close communion with the natural world offers humanity. I do not seek to deify nature, but rather to investigate the possibility of a new paradigm of re-integration at both a physical and psychological level” – Nanette Ranger 2014