Helichrysum Petiolare is also called the Licorice plant or “Kooigoed” in Afrikaans. I love the simplicity of the shapes and often include them in my artworks. These ones I found early one morning while on a hike. They made long, single stems and looked beautiful against the slope of Table Mountain.
This artwork is part of my Growth-series of paintings:
• Growth is the process of growing
• It is progressive development
• and surge
Growth is what we need in life to become.
My solo exhibition in May this year, was titled: Shelter in the Shadows with works produced during lock-down 2020. I still find my Shelter in the Shadows in these uncertain times, but Growth has become crucial to me. I often challenge myself – I re-invent myself to bring to you, my viewers, fresh and new works of art. Also, I challenge myself to move forward and grow.
The times we live in now are unpredictable and unusual. It feels like everything can change at once and that one can rely on few things. Therefore, it is good for me to spend time in nature. The one thing that stays constant when I walk on Table Mountain, is growth. The fynbos seeds still fall into the soil, germinate, and grow. Strong winds blow. Rain comes – or stays away. The hot sun scorches. Fires rage on the mountain slopes. Seeds burst open. Pollen blows in the wind. Roots establish. Flowers bloom extravagantly. And the fynbos grows. The Creator takes care of the creation.
Over the last while, my art has been drawing me into a space of new freedom. I like to compare it to a ballerina who, having had to practice for many years, is ready to dance on pointe. Yet she still needs many more hours of pointe work before she is able to truly own the stage and dance freely, trusting the music to guide her.
In a similar way, I have left the ‘barre’ and moved away from life-like fynbos vegetation. Perhaps rather than away, I am venturing deeper. Observing the fynbos more keenly. Spending more time on the fynbos-rich mountain paths. Thinking and experiencing it more deeply, allowing it to move me – and my brush – differently. I find myself mixing and applying colours with greater freedom. Decisions flow more easily – faster. My mark making is looser. I am leaning into the process.
This is how I grow. This is how fynbos continues to grow on my canvas.