Images of nature in recent South African printmaking and ceramics.
This dissertation considers nature imagery in selected South Afiican ceramics and printmaking. The main focus is on ecological issues in recent art productions. The text consists of five chapters. The first examines the ideologies of Fritjof Capra in relation to issues about deep ecology and ecofeminism; this chapter seeks to clarify the scope of the words 'land' and 'landscape' as used in a late 20th century context. The second chapter examines some historical works and ideas that have influenced perceptions of nature imagery in South Afiica. Chapters three, four and five constitute the main body of the thesis, and examine nature imagery in selected examples of contemporary printmaking and ceramics. Chapter three investigates selected landscape images ofceramist Esias Bosch and printmakers Gerda Scholtemeijer and Kim Berman. In chapter four the focus is on the flora as the point of reference. Prints of Gerhard Marx, Douglas Goode, EIsa Pooley and Karel Nel, who were all participants in the Art meets Science: Flowers as Images exhibition, will be examined. Important issues such as the separation ofbotanical and fine art, and art and science will be discussed with reference to their work. This will be followed by discussion of works of Susan Sellschop (a ceramic mural) and Bronwen Jane Heath (a wood engraving) in order to demonstrate the different intentions and outcomes ofthese to artists. Three dimensional works of the three ceramists, Lesley-Anne Hoets, Samantha Read-and Katherine Glenday are discussed in the final section of chapter four. Chapter five examines the interrelationship oflandscape and land. This chapter comprises two main sections. The first deals with aspects of landownership in South Africa reflected in recent ceramics and printmaking. Examples of the work of Marion Arnold and Ellalou O'Meara reinterpret images of early explorers and colonists situating them in a contemporary arena, demonstrating connections between past and present. Landownership is the overt subject in the Fee Halsted Berning, whose ceramic relief panel reflects a different perspective of landownership from the prints ofthe Schmidtsdrift artists. The second section surveys work of four artists whose images draw attention to ecological matters. Wendy Ross, Diana Carmichael, Marion Arnold and Carol Hofrneyr create images that higWight different aspects of the fragile balance of nature.
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