Leucospermum cordiofolium
Leucospermum cordiofolium
Acclaimed South African sculptor and jeweller, Nic Bladen, is known for his intricate depictions of flowers, seedpods, leaves and entire plants. Nic's background in dental technology, fused with a knowledge of bronze casting, has enabled him to create a new way of preserving/fossilizing plants and flowers with unmatched delicacy and detail. The method he uses, known as 'lost wax casting', involves creating molds from actual organic material, and then transforming them into once-off pieces of jewellery or sculptures of entire plants, from root-tip to flowers.

Nic's impetus is the recording of biodiversity, as he believes that his plant castings have a documentative value, in addition to being beautiful pieces of art. Living in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest yet richest floral kingdom in the world, Nic is uniquely positioned in efforts to draw attention to the plight of red data species.

In his first solo exhibition, Peninsula (Everard Read, October 2013), Nic focused on the richness of botanical diversity that immediately surrounds his Simonstown studio: concessions from landowners in the area enabled him to harvest such rarities as a Blue disa and the peninsula-endemic Serruria villas, as well as species of Amaryllis, Protea. and Erca, amongst others.

Nic is currently working as Artist in Residence at Tswalu Kalahari, a game reserve in South Africa's Northern Cape Province. The sculptures that he creates during this time, a depiction of the beautiful Kalahari desert plants and trees, will be exhibited at Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg in October 2015.

Upcoming exhibitions:
The Tswalu Collection (working title): sculptures created during Bladen's residency at Tswalu Kalahari. To be shown at Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg in October 2015, in conjunction with the Tswalu Foundation, (a conservation research initiative).

Work currently on display:
  • Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town
  • Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
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