Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kirstenbosch Botanical Art Biennale 2010

On Friday morning the younger two children and I went to Kirstenbosch Gardens for a show bursting with the vibrancy of spring. It is the 10th year of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Art Biennale

The main focus this year is on rare, endangered and narrow endemic species indigenous to southern Africa. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) recently launched the new Red List of South African Plants. Their Threatened Species Programme is endeavouring to help conserve South Africa’s plant species. Through the Botanical Art Biennale, SANBI intends to highlight and stimulate interest about the plight of these plants to the public.

This year’s show includes ceramics, tapestry and embroidery and the work of renowned artists working on the themes of conservation and destruction of the environment. The revival of Botanical art in recent years is reflected in contemporary trends in interior décor and art collections. The Biennale provides a space where the public and collectors can view the best examples of botanical art.

It is still on until 24th September from 9 - 5 daily. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I urge you to go and experience it if you can!

We were taken into the exhibitors hall and the children each had to choose the favourite painting and tell our guide why they liked that painting best. It was not an easy task as the paintings were magnificent and all so different. K had a hard time choosing her best painting.

In the garden, we were shown the above flower, Mandela's Gold.

We went on to the conservatory to view the succulents and the guide gave the children a basic lesson on looking for shapes in the plants so they could then draw what they saw. These plants will not survive in the gardens as they are suited best to the desert and this area has a very high rainfall.

They each had to choose six plants to draw.

I loved this magnificent display of spring colour in the flower bed. I have wanted to go up the west coast for the last few years to see the spring flowers but yet, again we could not make it this year. Perhaps next year...

The gardens were alive with bees and butterflies .

The last part of the tour involved looking at Fynbos which is indigenous to the Cape. I love the delicate flowers of the Erica shown above.

The children had to do a scavenger hunt among the Indigenous plants, looking for various characteristics of the plants.

On the way out of the garden the children could not resist playing the water organ.

I would have loved to linger longer and picnic in the garden but we had to get to the afternoons activities.

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