Wednesday, December 19, 2012

GREEN ART: An introduction | Part 1

My introduction to Green Art - a two-part article - is published on!
What is “Green Art” or “Environmental Art”? Throughout the ages, artists have responded to the challenges and issues relevant and prevalent during their lives. Currently, we are faced with the loss of biodiversity, with many species of animals, birds, insects and reptiles on the brink of possible extinction, or already extinct. We are beset with environmental, social and economical instability. This is partly, if not largely, due to unequal distribution of wealth and resources, the abuse and depletion of resources, greed, and pollution. These issues or themes are increasingly becoming a focus and inspiration for artists throughout the world.  
Environmentally-focused art could play a very significant role in collective concern and activism, as one of art’s main premises is to question and challenge accepted perceptions, values, or beliefs. Art also offers new solutions and inspires new understandings about the world around us, therefore playing an important role in how we change our actions and our relationship with the earth. 

Another extract from the article:

When choosing materials and techniques for your art, think about the following: 
  • Does your paint contain synthetic pigments, and if so, why? If it's to preserve an endangered species, then the use of such products is warranted, but if the synthetic paint is hazardous in any way, then think twice about using it, and thereby supporting its continued manufacture.
  • Think about what you'll do with the tubes afterwards. Maybe flatten them out and use them to create new artworks or containers for art materials.  Throwing something away just sends it to the landfill, from where it could easily seep toxins from unnatural waste into underground water tables.
  • Are your materials imported from another country? Is there an alternative of equal quality produced locally? If not, could you choose another brand which is imported from a country located closer to  yours?
  • What are your brushes made of? Research the difference between animal hair brushes and synthetic brushes. How is the hairs made or obtained?
  • Does your paper come from sustainable sources or plantations, rather than illegal plundering of virgin forests?
  • How much water is used in creating your art materials and artworks?
Read the full article 

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Grad Show Exhibition At Michaelis

This week I had a peek at the exhibition of art by the grad students from the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. These are some of the works that I find really inspiring, impressive or interesting:

Friday, December 7, 2012

New artwork: Breathe and Believe

Breathe and Believe
Janet Botes
Mixed media on wood
670 x 340 mm

Part of a new series called Beach Meditations

This artwork is available, please contact me at for more information. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

(eco)nversations GREEN ART 2012

After weeks and months of hard work, the exhibition was a great success! The exhibition, (eco)nversations GREEN ART 2012 was partnered with and hosted by the Green Expo in assocation with National Geographic Channel 281, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 23 to 25 November 2012. The exhibition showcased selected contemporary art by eight artists including installation art, sculpture, found object art and drawing.

More photographs:

Janet Botes

This exhibition was conceptualized and organized as an integrated part of the 2012 Green Expo, one of  its main aims being to offer Expo visitors the opportunity to view and engage with art that is dedicated to raising awareness, changing perceptions or inspiring appreciation for our environment . The artists exhibited were chosen for their personal and individual philosophies, convictions and the way that they express these in their creative work. 

Most of the artworks on the exhibition are quite conceptual and they vary in the use of material and different art forms. They are inspired by the underlying themes, solutions and causes of the environmental crisis and global warming, and they seek to involve, invite and inspire people rather than berate, depress and belittle the viewer. 

I hope that you find the works as inspiring and thought-provoking as I do, and that their image(s) live in your mind or heart in a way that may change or enrich your way of life and your interaction with and within nature. 

As artist and curator, as a woman and as a human, I believe that we are nature, as much part of it as each tree, praying mantis and raindrop. By not respecting and embracing all living things and the landscape, soil and earth that sustains us, we are destroying and discarding ourselves. When  you reconnect with nature within and of yourself, you reconnect with everything around you.  And when you rethink, recycle, respect, reuse and rehabilitate things, your life and the spaces around you will be enriched and these practices will become second nature. 

This exhibition was made possible through the collaboration, cooperation and generous support as well as help of some amazing individuals. I would like to thank each of the artists: Kai, Nicolle, Danelle, Stefanie, Janet, Simon and Claire: thank you all for your participation, hard work and effort with your own art and also as part of the group. Thank you Kai, for writing the manifesto which brings everyone’s voices together so eloquently. 

I would also like to acknowledge and thank Chris Naude, Robyn Carstens, Radi van Zyl, Thea Butler and Eljanne Lochner for their support, effort and encouragement, as well as everyone involved with the Collage Mural Project. And last, but not least, thank you to the family members of the artists, and anyone else who helps us to be the artists who we are, fighting for the things we love. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

'I am an African' at Gallery @ Grande Provence, Franschhoek

The Gallery at Grande Provence Presents:

‘Angels 7 – I am an African’ 

The seventh annual Angels exhibition at The Gallery @ Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate, Franschhoek, opens on Sunday, 9 December 2012 at 11h00 until 27 February 2013.

In 2006 a group show titled ‘Angels’ was established by The Gallery at Grande Provence. The title was playfully based on the name of the award winning collection of ‘Angels Tears’ wines that is produced by the Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate. Over the years the exhibition has progressed from an annual festive-season group show with references to angels, to a thought-provoking exhibition that addresses a range of current social and environmental matters.

This year “Angels 7” is themed ‘I am an African’. The theme references to one of the greatest African speeches ever delivered - to visually celebrate our identity, growth, achievements and the beauty of our people, land and cityscapes. However, the exhibition also aims to communicate the critical social and other challenges that currently face our society and environment. All aspects of life in contemporary South Africa will be represented.

Some of the contributing artists in this year’s “Angels” exhibition include:
Christiaan Diedericks, Eugenie Marais, Strijdom van der Merwe, Gordon Froud, Mbongeni Buthelezi, Richard Smith, MJ Lourens, Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, Wilma Cruise, Frank van Reenen, Ricky Dyaloyi, Greg Lourens, Katie Barnard Du Toit, Uwe Pfaff, Loni Drager, Mongezi Gum, Niel Visser, Koos de Wet, Sanna Swart, Talitha Deetlefs, JP Meyer, Marieke Prinsloo, Ingrid Coerlin, George Holloway, Zhann Solomons, Marleen Wolters, Thokozani Mthiyani, Erika Prinsloo, Anastasia Sarantinou, Janet Botes, Noelene Kleve, Anton Smit, Martin de Kock, Marieke Kruger, Frans Smit, Paula van Coller Louw, Jacques Dhont, Lynette ten Krooden, David Brits, Rae Goosen, Susara Steenkamp and Debbi Morkel.

 The famous speech, ‘I am an African’ by former President Thabo Mbeki was supplied to the artists as inspiration for their work. A selection of angel artworks and distinctive gifts and crafts feature in The Shop at Grande Provence to complement the ‘Angels Tears’ collection that is available in the retail area off the courtyard, behind The Gallery.

 For more information regarding this years exhibition please contact the curator
 Carina at +27 (0)21 876 8630 or e-mail

The Gallery is open from Monday to Sunday, from 10h00 till 18h00.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gedig geskryf in Oktober 2012

landskap, hartland
vlaktes van gister se sond, wind en weer
oopgevlek vir die toekoms se woeker en weet
van wild leef en stilwees
en saamwees en lag

strandland, swartskaap
wegvee van spore deur wind se wieg
mynskag se sweepslag in doodstil dag
waar selfs tolbos en sonbesie
doodlĂȘ, wag

moederland, hartland
oggenwasem wat wegsmelt voor die son
waar ons langsaam voorsloer
en reik na die horison
terwyl sand by ons voete
verskroei, versag

landskap, moederland, strandland
gee my krag om te woeker en weet
dat more kan beter wees
kan vreugdevol wees
met oorvloed en vrede
elke dag lag

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Join the conversation, Green Art 2012, 23-25 Nov at the CTICC, Cape Town

During the 2012 Cape Town Green Expo in association with National Geographic Channel 281, 8 artists are exhibiting artworks and art installations that engage the viewer about our planet, seeking to spark dialogues about our connection and relationship with our natural environment.

Eight Artists, One Planet

Each artwork in some way talks to and about: nature, the earth, the natural world, the planet, the ecosystem, the biosphere, our natural heritage - and our place within it.


Simon Max Bannister, Janet Ranson, Kai Lossgott, Stefanie Schoeman, Janet Botes, Danelle Malan, Nicolle Marais, Claire Homewood
The Collage Mural Project, facilitated by Claire Homewood, forms an integral part of the exhibition. Here's the event page for it:
Make sure to read Recession aesthetics and making art without destroying the planet: "A Green Art Manifesto", Kai Lossgott's contribution to (eco)nversations, and part of our catalogue which is available at the exhibition:

Facebook Event page

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Time flies at Studio 41

I can't believe that I've been in my new studio for 2 months already! Situated in the Fringe District of Cape Town, perfectly perched for Design Capital 2014, Studio 41 is a hub of activity. With 8 studios, of which I occupy Studio 3, there's almost always someone at the studio - working, creating, chilling, chatting, networking or meeting new people. During Cape Town Creative Week the studio hosted events every day for 11 days. These are some photographs taken at these events:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nuances series: George Sedgefield

Nuances: George Sedgefield, Janet Botes, Limited edition print on archival fine art paper, 800 x 800mm (paper size, unframed), 2012, Edition Size: 5 (only 3 still available for sale)

This Nuances work was inspired by the beaches and lakes of Sedgefield on the Garden Route. The Outeniqua Mountains close to George is visible on the horizon. The ebb and flow of life and ecology is so tactile and visible in these areas, that it almost seems like a you enter through a walkway into a new world, a respite from "everyday life". Sedgefield is classified as a "slow town" and boasts a weekly farmer's market. Most of the beaches fall in nature reserve areas, as part of Cape Nature, and the beautiful stretches of beach are almost unspoilt. But even in this piece of paradise the mark of human industry and consumerism is visible in the fragments and bits of plastic that washes ashore. After visiting this landscape, the artist has a renewed dedication towards playing a part and picking up plastic waste from Cape Town's beaches.

This is the first Nuances work that are available as a 800 x 800mm print. Click here to buy the 800 x 800mm size print for R3200. To buy the smaller 650 x 650mm standard size for the Nuances series, contact me at or State of the Art at

Friday, September 7, 2012

Art Blocks

Tomorrow's Scape
Janet Botes
Mixed media on wood
450mm x 150mm

Summer Afternoon Light
Janet Botes
Mixed media on wood
450mm x 150mm

Janet Botes
Mixed media on wood
450mm x 150mm

On Butterfly Wings
Janet Botes
Mixed media on wood
450mm x 150mm

Strung Together
Janet Botes
Mixed media on wood
450mm x 150mm

Amongst the Waves
Janet Botes
Mixed media on wood
450mm x 150mm

Jonkershoek uitstappie

After getting new camera lenses for my Pentax K-1000, in Stellenbosch, I drove the extra bit to Jonkershoek to shoot some photographs with a 200 ISO film in the chamber...  Thank you to sculptor and photographer Albertus Maree - dankie!