Well-known fine artist and photographer Hein Botha will be exhibiting his stunning visual paintings at the Prince Albert Gallery (www.princealbertgallery.co.za) which opens on Friday, 30 March from 17:30. The works deal with the highly imaginative, interconnected world of the San people.
“We are delighted to host Hein’s exhibition. He is an artist who is truly compelled to explore and express his observation of nature, time and energy through painting and drawing,” says Brent Phillips-White, owner of the Prince Albert Gallery.
“The San have been in the Karoo for a very long time, and we find it fitting that his exhibition should take place in our town. The gallery already has pieces by Hein on display.”
Raised in Cape Town and a graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Botha believes that the process of creation must reflect the ongoing changes that take place on earth, and how this in turn affects humanity and our worldview.
It comes as no surprise that he has a particular interest in the indigenous people of South Africa.
“The San left a legacy of imaginative, layered rock art images that for a long time were not accessible and hard to understand,” Botha says. “I feel that my life, and hopefully my art, is influenced and enriched by my immersion in the art of the San. Their eternally fresh imagery, childlike playfulness and the vast record of their universe has taught me what I like to refer to as ‘cosmic clowning‘. San rock art and stories are often ambiguous, idiosyncratic and layered in symbolism. In essence, characteristics that lie at the roots of all innovative artistic expression.”
Botha is especially interested in how San art was a crucial component of their overall life philosophy.
“The first people of this land shared a highly connected orientation with one another, their natural environment, their spirit world and their stories. In sharp contrast to our digitally driven world, theirs was a rich, multilayered, truly interconnected universe.”
He explores what the San’s art today might teach us so that we may live richer lives.
“San art needs to be viewed as the restoration of the ‘broken strings’ between their world and the present one. It gives rise to the creation of refreshed visual connections, imagery and metaphors. It is able to serve as a basis on which to restore our links to our fellow creatures, our ancestors, the spirit world and lost stories,” Botha says. “Our time-starved, self-absorbed existence of today needs the restoration of the primal links and healing rituals emanating from the time-honed sensibilities of the San people.”
To find out more about Hein Botha, visit his website at www.heinzone.co.za. The exhibition runs until the end of April. You can also go to Prince Albert Tourism’s website at www.princealbert.org.za to find out more about upcoming events and accommodation in and around the town. Also check out them out on Facebook (@PrinceAlbert.WesternCape), Twitter (@prince_albert_tourism) and Instagram (@PrinceAlbertZA).
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