Michael was born in 1946 in Potchefstroom and obtained his Fine Arts degree in 1967 from the University of Pretoria. His creative ability and insight enabled him to capture moods and convey these visually. He came across Ikebana in a series, published on Japan, and was impressed by the simplicity and ‘silences’ evoked by this style.
Music also began to play an important role in his life and has since remained part of his inspiration. The ‘musical themes’ of his abstract compositions, capture rhythm and sound waves. In 1967 during his final year Michael was awarded the SA Arts Association’s New Signatures award for his painting, Seetoneel. His first one-man exhibition was held the following year.
Michael’s distinctive paint application, sometimes wet layers on dry paint, pale colour on a dark background and subtle shades of colour have become distinguished features of his work. Accents of colour such as bright cycad pods, red poppies and indigo colours, have always been present.
His work incorporates juxtaposition between the realistic and the symbolic. Michaels’s use of colour is expressive and evocative, stimulating awareness.
Michael Heyns’ work can be found in private collections of major corporations and individual collectors in South Africa and abroad.