About Christiane

“Christiane Stolhofer’s work talks of more private, indefinable areas of our sense and sensibilities, using a subtle vocabulary. Sculptures that engage in conversation with quieter, more vulnerable, regions of feeling and thought. Memory is an important feature of her works: archaeology of the bush, memory of its trees, creatures, spirits and dreams. Her creatures are imaginary, but they closely resemble wild African animals: dialogue of one cultural heritage to another, of one speech to another.”

– Olivier Sultan

Austrian – born Christiane came to Zambia as a nurse in the 1970s. In 1983, renowned Zimbabwe sculptor Joseph Ndandarika handed her a piece of stone and said “Work on it!” Before long, Christiane had become a full-time artist, carving springstone and serpentine. Her style gradually evolved from representational figures to more abstract shapes that evoked natural landscapes and the creatures living there.

In a year-long trip to west Africa, she was impressed by local woodcarvers, and the strong relationship of both art and artists to local forests and beliefs. On her return to Zimbabwe, Christiane began to combine her stone pieces with local indigenous wood. She explored woodlands, learning the names of local trees, and collecting and planting their seeds. The beauty and variety of woods captured her imagination, and she moved more and more to carving fallen limbs, tree roots and posts from old farm kraals.

Working in northern Botswana between 2006 and 2022, Christiane’s inspiration has come from the exquisite beauty of the Okavango Delta, its clear waters surrounded by forests of Mopane trees. Mopane, with its fine, even grain and deep warm colour, has become the signature material for Christiane’s Botswana wood sculptures.

Christiane has also created limited edition miniatures of selected sculptures in African sterling silver and bronze.

In 2022 Christiane has moved to Saskatoon and is carrying on sculpting in the lighter coloured woods of Canada.

Download Christiane’s Curriculum Vitae here.