Marisa du Toit
Marisa Anique Muller- du Toit was born in a small town on the East Rand of Gauteng, Springs, South Africa 1976, she grew up in a very creative environment, in the theatre and on stage, in front of the cameras and as a professional dancer achieving some accolades and rewards along the way. Getting her 15 minutes of fame and travelling extensively through South Africa as a professional dancer set her life in motion after school.
She suddenly decided it was time to kick of her dancing shoes in 1998 and try something different. She realized her passion was something she had always practiced but never took it serious and started to create… although somewhat unfamiliar with art it was difficult with limited knowledge and connections having only high school exposure to the subject it brought some challenges.
She could finally disconnect from the hectic dance lifestyle that didn’t comfort her need for expression anymore, and take on the tricky and pain staking process to break into the creative world. Though still linked to the dance genre through her family who is active dancers, choreographers and teachers, she found she was drawn to choreography as a familiar channel for expression, but yet again realized that wasn’t the perfect platform for her after doing some freelance here and there. Slowly she felt the urge to detach herself from the comfort of familiarity and to settle more into the idea of painting as a career and leaving the dance world behind for good.
After travelling, working and living in England in 2004, Marisa went back to South Africa, to finally settle and marry her fiancé and high school sweetheart, Conrad du Toit in 2005; but settling was never a word that could take easy residence without a fight and they decided to move to Dubai in 2006.
Trying to stay focused on breaking into the market, Marisa started to paint once again and things soon started to feel right at home.
Then her first child was born in 2007 and the paintbrushes had to be put on the shelf for a while. After taking some time to adjust to the new addition to the family she slowly got back into practice. She started slowly but made quite a name for herself in Dubai having monthly exhibitions at an art souhk, then finally struggling to keep up with demand and an invitation for a gallery opening in Ras Al Khaima (near Iran). She thought she finally made it, but then the comfort got snatched from under her feet and the news came of the recession and then the long move back home had started.
In April of 2009 they arrived back in S.A. and they felt like foreigners in their own country. After trying to reconnect with old friends and family things started to get better and after the first exhibition Marisa was back on the horse and began to create some of her best work yet.
Marisa’s art has strong symbolic reference and she incorporates her passion for poetry into her work with faith related references and believes woven into her work shown through her balletic/angelic inspired figures.
She has moved into her own style very prominently and loves to explore every new skill she gains with every painting and sketch she makes. The learning process is part of her ongoing growth as a young self taught artist. Marisa is also skilled as a mosaic artist and jeweler. She currently resides in Pretoria and has numerous successful exhibitions since returning from Dubai in April 2009.
Marisa says: “I am so extremely thankful to be able to do what I so passionately love to do and I have been blessed beyond my expectations with the response to my work, praise be to God.”