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As the excitement of summer winds down along with the slowly descending poplar leaves here in the bos of Baardskeerdersbos, I reflect on the past season.

The highlight must be meeting the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and giving him a bronze sculpture during this, his eightieth year. He is such a warm, loving and unassuming (and short!) man possessing so large a capacity to love and give, he left me humble and learning the meaning of being blessed.

Last month the bronze I made for the Absa Cape Epic was raised above the head of a South African for the first time, and at KKNK my new bronze of Mandela ‘Fighter on the roof’ was sold within seconds of the unveiling. Affirmation such as this affords one the motivation to continue along this crazy adventure of being creative.

Next weekend is back to back party time on the stoep again, with a group of bread makers gather at the Beeeeeg B’bos Bakoond for another sourdough bread workshop on Thursday 28 and 29 April, learning the simple rewards of doing things slowly. There is still room for a couple of late comers that wish to greet the cooler months with a special experience in this mystical art of food technology.

On Saturday and Sunday 1 May the Baardskeerdersbos Art Route rolls out again with a dozen solo art exhibitions by local favourites such as Joshua Miles, Hendrik Rabie, Nikki Miles and Phillip John to name but a few, as well as guest artist Vernon Swart. This honest little hamlet in the warm heart of the Overberg lures around two hundred art lovers to its atmospheric landscape, but only three times a year, leaving us in peace the rest of the year. Artisanship on my stoep includes funky glass pendants by Flick, the beautiful and affordable pottery of Martin Swart, and the stylish hand made handbags of Leanda Trautman, while the Queen of Camphill, Jill Reid displays her excellent botanical water colours and insect studies as the visiting artist at my studio.

It is an honour to be exhibiting at the Hugo Naude Gallery in Worcerster during May. As one of the founding fathers of SA landscape painting around a hundred years ago, Hugo Naude has inspired several generations of painters, especially those that work direct from the landscape, in situ. To be exhibiting in the beautiful old home of this pioneer is a true treat. We are hoping for a party on the opening night of 12 May, as well again in June when some superb landscape paintings by various well known painters will be auctioned. Proceeds go toward the maintenance of this historic building that houses an art collection so very highly valued in the history of South African landscape painting.

See more of Niël´s bronzes … click here
and paintings … click here

© Niël Jonker 2011 | |
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