Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Lady Tait returns to Kirstenbosch



Kirstenbosch, Cape Town: South Africa welcomes the return of exquisite watercolour paintings to where they were created, another first for Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden at the foot of the majestic Table Mountain. Lady Cynthia Tait (1894-1962), a proficient botanical illustrator with a passion for South African flowers, is being celebrated at a special exhibition in the Richard Crowie Hall in Kirstenbosch from 16 January to 15 March 2020.
Lady Tait’s love of South African flowers can be attributed to accompanying her husband from Guernsey, where she stayed from time to time when he was posted to the Far East, to Africa. Her husband, Admiral Sir William Eric Campbell Tait (1886–1946), was a senior British naval officer, courtier, Commander-in-Chief of the South Atlantic Station from 1942, where he led the Royal Navy, South African Army and South African Air Force, and fifth Governor of Southern Rhodesia.

After the death of Admiral Tait, she married Lancelot Ussher of Luncarty, Claremont, Cape Town, where her love for South African flowers continued to blossom.
Lady Tait’s paintings were inherited by granddaughter, Cynthia Cormack, who granted permission for them to be exhibited at one of her grandmother’s favourite spots, Kirstenbosch.
The paintings were almost forgotten until recently, when Cormack was chatting to eminent Guernsey horticulturist and clematis grower, Raymond Evison, about her grandmother’s works, a number of which were stored at her home in Guernsey. Evison, impressed, contacted the Guernsey Arts Commission and Gateway Publishing, which led to an exhibition in Guernsey in June and July 2018 of some 60 paintings, inherited by Cormack and Lady Tait’s grandson, William Astley-Jones, and the publication of a selection of these paintings in a book titled Tait Florilegium.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Society Chairman, Keith Kirsten, attended the opening of the Guernsey exhibition and, enchanted by the paintings, was immediately determined to bring the exhibition to Kirstenbosch where many of these delightful paintings found their inspiration and, indeed, were actually illustrated on Lady Tait’s frequent visits to Kirstenbosch and during her time at Luncarty.
The Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society is delighted to showcase 66 of Lady Tait’s paintings returning to South Africa on loan for the exhibition, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Duncan Spence of Gateway Publishing and Rickety Bridge Winery in Franschhoek, Western Cape.
Curated by Mary van Blommestein of the University of Cape Town (UCT) Irma Stern Museum, the exhibition will also include botanical art by the Western Cape branch of the Botanical Artists Association of Southern Africa (BAASA), a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting public awareness of botanical art in Southern Africa. The Lady Tait collection endorses South African-inspired art pieces as pioneers in international botanical art.
Copies of Tait Florilegium, which contains full sized reproductions of the glorious watercolours of selected South Africa wild flowers by Lady Tait, will be on sale at the exhibition, along with beautiful notecards.
The exhibition pays homage to an illustrator, almost lost to the South African art world, and serves as a revival of these exquisite pieces that embrace our natural heritage. It is fitting that the paintings are displayed at the source of their inspiration; in the heart of South Africa’s famous floral kingdom.
The exhibition promises to be one of the art industry’s top events in 2020 and confirms South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society and the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden’s unique offering to the planet’s floral kingdom.
Visit www.sanbi.org and www.botsoc-kirstenbosch.org.za for more information.
For information about the exhibition, contact Catherine Gribble on 021 671 5468 or email catherine@botsoc-kirstenbosch.org.za.

Friday, 23 August 2019

International Watermedia Festival - 3-9 September, Western Cape



                            The schedule for the free art demos (Somerset West Town Hall) is as follows: 

                            Sept.3 
                    9:00-12:00 Atanur Dogan, Asuman Dogan, Glenda Chambers. 
                    1:30-5:00 Amit Kapoor, Tere Lojero, Christopher Reid. 

                            Sept.4 
                    9:00-12:00 Amit Kapoor, Tere Lojero, Charme Southey. 
                    1:30-5:00 Atanur Dogan, Asuman Dogan, Christopher Reid.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Annual International Exhibition of Botanical Art (Moscow)

Dear Colleagues,

My name is Irina Golubeva and I'm Vice-president of Society of Artists of Botanical Art (Russia).

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the Annual International Exhibition of Botanical Art, which is to be held in Moscow from November 1 to 30, 2019.

As in previous years, besides SABA artists (at least 100 participants are expected this year), artists from the USA, Netherlands, Korea, Italy, Spain and other countries will take part in the exhibition. This year, the guest of honor at the Moscow exhibition will be Billy Showell - President of the Society of Botanical Artists.

For foreign artists, the conditions for participation are as follows:

1. The theme of the exhibition is Rare and Endangered Plants of the World. Works  that match the stated topic done in any technique will be accepted.

2. Since sending original works and customs clearance along with customs duties complicate participation and increase its cost, from abroad we accept work in electronic form (scan in a good resolution).
Works are to be printed in Moscow with professional equipment and exhibited in prints.
If desired, the print can be sent to the artist along with the catalog or you can enter the SABA archive. We guarantee that the images will be used only in papers and posts in social medias telling about the exhibition.

3. Frames and mats are provided by SABA.

4. The entrance fee is 25 Euro for participation with print - including the manufacture of a print, frame rental, a catalog with one work from each participant according to the results of the exhibition.

5. Deadline for September 5th.

Applications are accepted by mail igolubeva@rubotanicalart.com

Attached are photographs of some pages of the catalog of last year and Exhibition 2018.



С уважением,
Ирина Голубева
художник-график, вице-президент
Ассоциации Художников Ботанического Искусства
телефон +7-916-921-52-62












Monday, 5 August 2019

Reunion Island - photos from the Botanical Art Course, July 2019

More photos from the Botanical Art Courses led by Gillian Condy and Julie Ah-Fa on the beautiful tropical Island of Reunion last month.

Advanced Course
5 South African artists and 5 from Reunion plus a mother and daughter for two days as the other class was full. Mum is 82 years old, proving that you're never too old for art!












Podo the bear started as the mascot of the Pretoria Botanical Gardensand has been Gill’s travel companion for more than 20 years.


Friday, 2 August 2019

Reunion Island - Photos from the Botanical Art Courses

Some photos from the Botanical Art Courses led by Gillian Condy and Julie Ah-Fa on the beautiful tropical Island of Reunion last month.

Beginners Course
16 people, the youngest was just 12 years old with an amazing eye for detail.









Lunches were taken at the restaurant in the botanical gardens which served delicious local dishes, always with rice, and beans or lentils.



Next time - the advanced course and exhibition...