Kirstenbosch Botanical Biennale 2010

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Kirstenbosch | Cape Town | 2010 | Bronze 

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As I decided to paint aloes for this exhibition, I couldn’t stop recalling the often too familiar Aloe marlothii’s found in many South African landscape paintings. I shamefully had to admit that my ideas about aloes were up to that point not much broader than the barren landscapes on which they are brashly depicted. Fortunately, this narrow and very ignorant perception very soon changed into one of fascination, exhilaration, and absolute appreciation. 

I commenced my journey by choosing a few common types of Aloes, but decided to paint them in their juvenile stages in an attempt to shy away from those more stereotypical depictions. Here, the otherwise majestic and robust figures of the adult A. marlothii, A. striata, A. microstigma, and A. parvibracteata var. zuluensis are seen as rather fragile and delicate. In addition to these, I added two tree aloes, A. plicatilis and A. ramosissima, the latter being a vulnerable species as a result of overgrazing, trampling and mining.

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© Willie Schlechter 2019

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