When I look at a leopard walking along the branch of a Marula tree, what do I see? In many ways it is nature’s masterpiece, a synthesis of form and function, beautifully balanced. It is no wonder that animals and landscapes have been the silent muses of artists for centuries. Londolozi has recently created a space for a fine art gallery within Varty Camp. It has seen the strokes of some of South Africa’s most talented and I thought it would be great to share who is on display at the moment.
Bowen Boshier meticulous pencil lines convey incredible insight into the bushveld’s interconnectedness. This is what Bowen Boshier has to say about his latest work: “I love to draw pristine wilderness; to lose myself in an unmarred landscape is to immerse my self in endless time. Through my travels, I discover and get to know places. I spend time on location, sometimes months in one place; walking and watching, sketching and sculpting.
I am fascinated by detail so each drawing takes a long time to complete. Creatures get used to my presence and carry on their life around me. I watch birds build their nests, hear them court, witness the first flight of the fledglings.
It is a challenge to isolate a subject or encapsulate a portion of a landscape. By confining it to the boundaries of the paper, it is separated off from its relationship to the rest of the world. Now it has to hold the viewer’s eye; it has to have its own life. For the cropped-off window to resonate with the essence of the subject, it must also harmonise with the inner landscape of our minds.
I use nature to advise me on aesthetics and balance. The piece must hold a moment in place, a mood or atmosphere that can sing out through time.”
The world renowned bronze sculptor Dylan Lewis has a powerful presence at Londolozi with some of his leopards integrated into the landscape and interiors of Varty Camp. His obsession with the wild cat resonates with Londolozi’s legacy of leopards.
His sculptures touch the element, the pristine and the world of legend and enchantment. Lewis´s empathy with nature and its living forms is evident in his ability to powerfully convey the essence of predators and prey, and the environment in which we all exist.
Lewis´s primary inspiration is wilderness. At one level his bronze sculptures celebrate the power and movement of Africa´s life forms; at another the textures he creates speak of the continent´s primeval, rugged landscapes and their ancient rhythms.
Londolozi has been the residence of local artist, Simon Max Bannister. Using wood he ahas found a dynamic visual language to express his passion for the bushveld. He has recently completed a little parliament of owls made from leadwood, the charismatic faces emerging from the gnarly forms of the beautiful bark.
Here is what he had to say about his work: ” Since I can remember my passion has been the act of sculpture. The challenge of bringing something from the imagination into reality.
Connected to the landscapes of Africa my journey into art has been a creative adventure. Inspired by natures majesty, ancient passages, fabled rock art, tool making and the proverbial quest for fire, my world is shaped by the elements and my place within it.”
Londolozi is indeed not only a bountiful space of wildlife but a place of fantastic works of wildlife art too. Be sure to come and visit the gallery to find a new way of seeing and appreciating the feeling of Africa through creative expression.
Photographs by: Simon Max Bannister.