Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Two Artists, Two Eras

Finding common ground: a dedication to native South African plants 

by Margaret Best

THE PAST: PRINCE SALM DYCK (1773 Р1861) was mesmerized by native South African succulents. He studied with Redout̩ to learn how to capture his enormous succulent collection. His legacy of exquisite paintings lives on.

THE PRESENT: GILLIAN CONDY is a leading contemporary botanical artist with a passion for the native plants of Southern Africa. Gillian’s vast body of work is a legacy in progress.

Read the full article here.

I would like to thank my hosts in Cape Town, Robert and Helen Levitt for making our visit to their library so memorable. I’m similarly grateful to Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art and Senior Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, for her help in my research. All images that accompany the Prince Salm-Dyck article are in the public domain. - Margaret Best

This article first appeared in the June issue of The Botanical Artist, the journal of the American Society of Botanical Artists

(Margaret Best was born and raised in South Africa. After graduating as a teacher in Cape Town, she taught art at Rustenburg School for Girls in Rondebosch, a stone’s throw from the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. In the early 80’s after time spent living in Toronto, London, Tehran and Houston, Margaret, her husband, and their young daughter settled in Calgary at the foot of the Canadian Rockies.

Margaret is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), the Botanical Arts Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), the Bermuda Society of Artists (BSoA), Botanical Artists of Canada (BAC), Botanical Artists' Guild of Southern Alberta (BAGSA), the Botanical Artists Association of Southern Africa, and the Florilegium Society of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Sydney, Australia for whom she has produced a painting for the 2016 RGBS bicentennial exhibition.

There are copies of the Salm Dyck books Margaret writes about in the SANBI library in Pretoria.

Says librarian Anne-Lise Fourie: "I loved her combination of the old and the new in this article. It is a true testament of Gillian’s work and contribution to SANBI.")

Friday, 4 November 2016



Worldwide Day of Botanical Art to be held on May 18, 2018

A worldwide collaboration linking people with plants through contemporary botanical art.

Over a dozen participating countries have joined together to link people to plants through botanical art. Hundreds of artists around the world will capture in paint, ink or pencil, plants native to their home countries to raise awareness of wild plant diversity.

Exhibitions of original contemporary botanical art will be curated by participating countries around the world based on an indigenous plants theme. Each country’s sponsoring organisation will schedule events for a Worldwide Day of Botanical Art to be held on May 18, 2018. This 24-hour, around the world event will maximise focus on the message: linking people with plants through contemporary botanical art. All exhibition dates will include May 18, 2018. A digital compilation of images from all exhibitions worldwide will be shown at each participating venue, alongside that country’s original artworks.

Participating countries include Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom, and United States.

(Download a pdf version of the latest document here.)